On June 5th, Jerry Sanders met with the newly appointed Director of CESPT – the State Commission of Public Services for Tijuana – German Lizola Marquez, to discuss opportunities for collaboration that advance cross-border issues. CESPT provided an overview of the work that has been done after last year’s sewage spill which was caused by the collapse of a collector due to heavy rain. In order to provide maintenance and improve water sanitation and the sewage system in general, CESPT started working on the replacement of over 4 kilometers of collectors thanks to funds provided by the Mexican Water Commission (CONAGUA), CESPT, and the North American Development Bank, and acquired specialized wastewater management equipment to provide maintenance and improvements to wastewater treatment plants.
Improving sanitation and minimizing pollution of the Tijuana River Valley is a shared concern across the border, and CESPT reiterated how related projects are a priority to Baja State’s Government. The Chamber offered CESPT a platform to continuously communicate their work, needs, and achievements with the San Diego business community and offered help in advocating for the necessary funds that are needed to fulfill these projects for the benefit of our cross-border community.
Earlier this year during federal budget appropriations discussions, the Chamber advocated in support of funding the EPA’s U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program which ultimately received $10 million. Additionally, Mexico’s National Water Commission (CONAGUA) announced an investment of $4.35 million for improvements to repair Tijuana’s sewage infrastructure. In collaboration with CESPT, these funds are currently covering the replacement sewage pipelines and the main wastewater treatment plant in order to prevent major sewage spills along the canal.
In search of more sustainable projects along the U.S.-Mexico border to finance, NADBank met with a group of over 50 regional stakeholders last month at the National Chamber of Commerce (CANACO) in Tijuana. Credits may cover up to 85 percent of a project’s cost with competitive rates for up to 25 years, which has allowed NADBank to certify and finance 244 projects so far with a total investment of $9.31 billion.
In San Diego and Baja California alone, these projects have built 22 water treatment plants and 37 potable water distribution systems. Baja California has submitted 31 projects that were financed for $381 million, of which 23 have been completed having focused on clean water/waste and air quality. To address the Tijuana River Valley transboundary pollution issue, the NADBank and the EPA contributed $790,000 in support of the sustainable projects providing upgrades and maintenance to Tijuana’s pumping stations, water treatment plants, and sewage pipes.
For more information about the North America Development Bank, project requirements, and/or to submit a project, please visit their website.