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Scientists organize fight against groundwater pollution

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Kikil’s cenote. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

Tizimín, Yucatán — Scientists and researchers announced Friday a cleanup project at the Kikil cenote outside Tizimín.

More than a cleanup, the project will involve research to improve the overall quality of water on the peninsula.

The Center for Scientific Research of Yucatan (CICY) has created the Water Network for the Sustainability of the Peninsula, which will analyze measures to avoid contamination caused by livestock and the use of agrochemicals.

At a press conference, Laura Hernández Terrones, a scientist at the CICY Water Sciences Unit, indicated that the goal of this network is to carry out research and propose actions for the conservation, protection and management of this natural resource.

She indicated that the three main challenges in this area will be the supply, sanitation and access to water. To achieve this, they will create an interdisciplinary team broken down into groups of specialists and scientists who will research and develop projects.

Although litter is common, the main source of water pollution is harder to detect with the naked eye.

She said the main source of water pollution is agrochemicals used in agriculture, livestock and pig farming, as well as the mismanagement of plastic containers that hold these chemicals. The region’s thin soil makes it hard to protect ground water from chemical pollutants.

According to the Secretariat of Urban Development and Environment, there are currently about 150 pig farms that do not have adequate waste treatment systems.

Adina Paytan, a researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, pointed out that for Yucatecans, water is the most important resource because many economic activities depend on it, such as agriculture, fishing and tourism.

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