After Five Weeks Without Water, Comcaac Community In Sonora Seeks Urgent Help

By Kendal Blust, Lauren Gilger
Published: Monday, July 19, 2021 - 5:15am
Updated: Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 12:50pm

Audio icon Download mp3 (1.22 MB)
Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

desalination plant in Punta Chueca
Kendal Blust/KJZZ
The desalination plant in Punta Chueca, which is nearly 15 years old, often stops working, but even when operational cannot provide enough water for the entire community.

Members of an Indigenous community in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, say they are experiencing a critical water shortage after weeks without reliable access.

Zara Monrroy
Kendal Blust/KJZZ
Zara Monrroy, a cultural ambassador for the Comcaac Nation in Punta Chueca, sits on the beach during an event bringing attention to the community's lack of water in March 2021.

Water scarcity is a long-standing and constant issue in Punta Chueca — one of two Comcaac towns on the Sea of Cortez. But the community has now gone five weeks without water from the town’s failing desalination plant.

Water trucks sent by the government or paid for by the community are insufficient and some families lack large drums needed to store water between deliveries, leaving many without water for drinking, bathing and cleaning.

"We've really been experiencing a lot of scarcity for weeks, and that's why we're putting together this support effort for the community," said Zara Monrroy, a cultural ambassador for the tribe in Punta Chueca.

She said they're urgently pushing the the government to provide a permanent solution to the water shortages. Water officials have promised a new desalination plant, but construction is behind schedule.

Some believe the best solution is to create a well, but recent efforts have only turned up salt water.

So in the meantime, Monrroy has helped start a collective called Hax Isax, or water/life, that's cobbling together donations to hire additional water deliveries and to buy storage drums for families who don’t have them.

To learn more about the situation in Punta Chueca, The Show spoke with Kendal Blust of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk, who is based in Hermosillo, Sonora.

Hear Kendal Blust's Interview With Host Lauren Gilger On The Show

Fronteras Sonora The ShowTribal Natural Resources