ALFREDO AZCARATE VARELA
THE BAJA POST/EDITOR
Las Arenitas (Tiny Sands in English) is a plant treatment for water residues, ecologic park and photovoltaic camp, it has become an oasis after almost 20 years, it has a surface of about 1 thousand 400 acres, about 450 of them have trees and a wetland that hosts several bird species (endemic and migratory) so it is considered a spearhead regarding environment awareness in Baja California, said Armando Samaniego, director of the Commission of Mexicali Public Services )CESPM), Mexicali, the valley and San Felipe urban irrigation district.
Samaniego said that this complex has set an example when it comes to residual water treatment: “it grants big benefit for Mexicali and its Valley residents as well as the environment, which makes it a real valuable project”, for the city as well as for the environment.
The water treatment output covers and benefits 45% of Mexicali population, while it simultaneously treats 100% of the water entering the sanitary drain network of the city, which allows Mexicali to reuse the water treated in the plant.
More than 30% of the water treated in Las Arenitas reloads the irrigation levels of the Hardy River, which had gone down drastically, these volumes are focused on environmental use, a little more than 22% is used to irrigate forage and mesquite trees and 2.94% is used to irrigate green areas and a little more than 17% of the treatment output is used by local industry.
Las Arenitas has grown since the mid 2000´s when it started, there has been an ecological park developed and a wetland has been born and has kept growing, they give the water an additional treatment to improve the water quality, the site has become a refuge for several native species such as rattlesnakes, prairie dogs, iguanas and several migratory bird species.
The plant also includes a photovoltaic electricity generation plant, which has helped to reduce power consumption, which brings benefit to the environment, “saving” 435 metric tons (about a Billion pounds) of carbon emissions, said Samaniego.