Concerns Grow about Impact of Border Wall on Local Communities, Environment
LADB Article ID: 80237
By: Carlos Navarro
Environmental groups and current and former public officials are speaking out about the potentially negative environmental impact of the huge barrier proposed by US President Donald Trump on the millions of people who live along the US-Mexico border. According to the Wilson Center’s State of the Border Report, about 15 million people lived in the border area as of 2010. That number is expected to double by 2040 if growth rates remain at current levels, according to the same report. One major concern is the impact on the supply and quality of water in the border region and the potential for flooding. The existing wall, which was reinforced and expanded as part of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (SourceMex, Oct. 11, 2006, and Oct. 10, 2007) is already causing some problems, even though it covers only about one-third of the roughly 3,200-km (2,000-mile) border. “A lack of drainage near Nogales, Sonora, caused a section of the wall to collapse in 2011,” Juan Pablo Mayorga, a journalist with expertise on environmental matters, wrote in a guest column for the business publication Expansión. According to Mayorga, the huge barrier proposed by President Trump could modify water flows near the border, altering the depth of the area’s aquifers and threatening the supply of drinking water. Beyond the impact on humans, scientists and environmental advocates warn about potential problems for wildlife in the area, including the creation of new obstacles for animal migration.
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