Alternative World Water Forum

Canal Costa de Oro, also known as “Canal Centenario”, is one of the most ambitious and strategic water management projects of the Government of Nayarit, Mexico. It will connect the rivers flowing in the state (Santiago, San Pedro, Acaponeta and their tributaries) for providing irrigation to the crops in the states of Sinaloa and Sonora, where water-thirsty corn and vegetables for exportation are the main agricultural products. The interlinking and inter-basin transfer of water will also require the construction of dams, like the Las Cruzes Dam, and the creation of reservoirs of water, along with tunnels and a hydroelectric plant.

Local communities, farmers and social movements at local and national level oppose the project for its ecological destructive consequences. It will threaten the manglar ecosystem, as well as wetlands and lakes, including the Ramsar site Marismas Nacionales. The damming of the rivers is already affecting the soil deposit along the coast, provoking heavy coast erosion.

Apart from the ecological damages, socio-economic activities of around 20,000 local farmers and fishermen will also be affected. The indigenous communities, the Nayeri and the Cora, will lose their livelihoods and at least 14 ceremonial and religious sites.

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Categories: Global stories

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