Water in Baja

A precious resource in the desert, clean water is important to life here in Baja California Sur – the driest state in all of Mexico. Like all of western North America there is a super drought and a water emergency happening. This page of our website educates visitors and residents about the water situation, what needs to be done, and help create a culture of conservation.

Review the 2021 “Water Report” from Baja Coastal Institute:

Watch the Baja Coastal Institute’s webinar series on water in Baja Sur

Here is a webinar series that explains the water situation, forecast, solutions and actions. We’ve started it at minute 33 where we hear from an expert in La Paz with over 15 years working in the field, who is the primary author of the 2021 report above.

Video 1: The water situation in Baja California Sur & the East Cape:

Video 2: Rainwater harvesting as a solution to water scarcity

Three great speakers and lots of awesome ideas from cities to homes to ranches. Watch and learn! Then consider implementing some easy passive rainwater harvesting techniques where you live.

Video 3: How to treat and save water in our homes & communities

Treating grey water (water from your laundry, shower, and sinks) is super important. Learn more and also how to save water.

Video 4: Climate change & how to collect water from the atmosphere

Climate change = drought, more extreme weather events (hurricanes with more water arriving at one time), and more water vapor in the atmosphere. Learn how it is effecting us already here in southern Baja. Then see large and small atmospheric water capture techniques: from high tech to low tech!

Video 5: Desalinization

Take action: ideas to get you going as a desert dweller in Mexico’s driest state, Baja California Sur.

Take action: get educated & become a water advocate

  • Sign up for Baja Coastal Institute’s newsletter on their homepage: BCIBaja.org
  • Learn from local successes like the erosion control and watershed management at Rancho Cacachilas in El Sargento (next to La Ventana in the Los Planes watershed)
  • Track your water usage. Take a photo (or have your gardener take one when you’re not here) on the 1st on the month. Know how much you’re using and do your best to conserve.
  • Have conversations about water and drought with your neighbors and friends and community, send them the 2021 Water Report from the Baja Coastal Institute
  • Buy Brad Lancaster’s books about Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands & Beyond

Take action: re-use grey water at your home

  • Put a bucket in your shower then water plants in your yard
  • Design your laundry so it drains to water trees in your yard
  • Conserve water in your kitchen: fill a plastic bin, use that for your daily dishes, then dump it on a plant or tree in your garden
  • If you’re building and plan to consume a lot of water, consider a high tech greywater recycling system like the Hydraloop.

Take action: be water-wise in your garden

  • Plant only drought tolerant trees and plants. Many desert trees like neem and palo verde thrive after only 2 years of irrigation. Palo de arco makes a lovely bush or green fence and can easily be grown from seed.
  • Mulch all your plants and trees – avoid bare soil as much as possible.
  • Make little adjustments to the earth just downhill from each of your plants: build up a small berm, add some rocks or wood that will slow down rainwater and let it accumulate near your plants and give them great watering during storms.
  • Figure out how to use the water that comes off your roof during rainstorms. The easiest is a passive rainwater collection system: a basin (a hole filled with mulch) where the water can collect and sink into the ground. You can plant desert plants around the mulch basin and they will thrive without much extra water than what comes during rainstorms.
  • Watch this video from Rancho Piedra in San Bartolo to see the way they are slowing down water on their property, and using it around the site: Rancho Piedra San Bartolo water conservation video.

Share this knowledge with the Mexican community

Help create awareness about the water problem here in the East Cape, and the great ideas for solutions like using grey water, slowing down water when it rains on your property, and of course using less water by being conservation minded. Here are BCI’s videos in Spanish. Send them to your contractor, your gardener, or anyone who might be interested!