Tijuana River Trans-Boundary Pollution Update

Aiming to minimize pollution on the Tijuana River Channel, Tijuana Councilmember Ivette Casillas created a program to clean up a large section of excessive mounds of plastic, sediment, debris, and waste contained in the channel. Under her leadership, other organizations joined forces including the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), the National Migration Institute (INM), and the Human Rights Office (Procuraduria Derechos Humanos). Councilmember Casillas guided efforts and allocated resources to diminish plastic waste that ends up across the border on the U.S. side.

The cleanup area started at the U.S.-Mexico border and extended one kilometer (0.6 miles) south. In addition to collecting waste, volunteers assisted in the relocation of homeless people residing in the channel and painted colorful murals on the Mexican side of the border wall.

Other resources included:

  • Four trucks of 8㎥
  • Eight trucks of 14㎥
  • One bulldozer

The project removed 380㎥ of sediment and debris. The City of Tijuana and other agencies continue working together on similar projects as well as efforts to prevent debris and waste from entering the channel.

Earlier this year, CONAGUA announced the investment of $80 million pesos ($4.3M USD) for improvements to repair Tijuana’s sewage infrastructure and minimize transboundary pollution. This project is designed to replace sewage pipelines and the main wastewater treatment plant to prevent sewage spills along the canal. In collaboration with the state’s public utility commission (CESPT), the project will continue to clean up the remaining 13 kilometers of the canal.