The Environment of Chapala Improves

Hyacinth dominates the environment of Chapala lakeside
The environment of Chapala lakeside clogged with hyacinth

New Effort on Smog Aids the Environment of Chapala

Guadalajara, like most cities of four-plus million people and vehicles, has smog. Hence the government of the State of Jalisco presented Mexico’s second biggest metropolitan area with a new plan to clean the air. The plan includes redesigned emissions checking and switching to hybrid and electric vehicles.

Breathing polluted air is of course unhealthy and poor health is of course costly. Each year, governments and residents of Guadalajara, the capital city of Jalisco, spend about 1,500 pesos per-capita on illnesses caused by smog. Close to 500 infants and elderly, mainly, die prematurely every year due to air pollution.

The state government’s 11-point plan includes efficient management of forested urban areas. The state will also overhaul and modernize at least 10 fixed stations that monitor air quality plus a mobile one.

Jalisco promises to subsidize the:
* replacement of catalytic converters (reducing emissions), and
* installation of solar water heaters. Doing so can save up to 80% of household propane gas consumption.

Guad is the metropolis near Lake Chapala that locals visit for the airport, opera, and other fun outings.

New Report on the Environment of Chapala, the Lake Water Quality

The Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology reports that the Lake Chapala fish food web has not “bio-magnified” any industrial runoff up the food chain — good news for seafood lovers. Overall, metal concentrations in water, sediments, and fish were similar to and in some cases below those reported for Lake Chapala over the last 20 years (when Harvard studied its water quality). Also, metal concentrations were below the worry-level for negative effects on fish and wildlife of — and hopefully humans.

New Effort on Hyacinth Aids the Environment of Chapala

The water hyacinth’s violet and yellow flowers add color to Lake Chapala but hinder the local economy.

The plant does filter heavy metals from the lake and stores them in its roots and leaves. But their presence blocks sunlight and decreases the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. That reduces phytoplankton and fish stocks. The plant also blocks canals, ditches, and pipes, reducing water movement and raising the risk of flooding.

Now the State of Jalisco, which did not succeed before, is back at the plant. Their project, “Chapala Limpio” or Clean Chapala, has a 4-million-peso budget for a year of eradication. Now underway, the project employs a TigerCat aquatic weed harvester. Jalisco Environment Secretary, Magdalena Ruiz Mejía, said workers take the collected plants to a site for composting.

And the invasive species’ source? At the end of the 19th century, owners of haciendas in the area introduced the flowery plant to adorn their fish ponds.

Even while improving, the Chapala riviera, being a smallish population, is already healthier than most cities in the States and Canada. Just another reason to utilize the services of DocTours.

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Author: jeffery

Traveler, Next-Pat, organizer of for-profits and non-profits, author published in both the popular and academic press (usually on "geonomics" or ecological economics), and inventor of non-polluting engine, conscious-raising language, and other goodies.

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