Diego Barros is the President of the Huarpe community as well as a smaller of 11 communities that form this, called Asunción. When we sat down together, and he asked me what I wanted to know. I told him “anything there is to know about water in your community”. For the next two hours, he spoke of a multitude of problems including the loss of their economic prosperity with the loss of the river, the government’s attempts to persuade the community they could dump the arsenic filtered out of their water back into their wells, and the irony of the government promoting hand washing when there wasn’t even enough water to drink. His dedication to activism for his community was inspiring, and his vast knowledge on the subject was impressive.
“Nosotros hoy tenemos un problema grave, muy grave sobre el tema del agua … A raíz de la creación del dique se nos corta el agua durante 15 años, entonces hay una sequía muy grande que nos afecta en la producción ganadera y huerta”
“Today we have a serious problem, a very serious one concerning water … As a result of the creation of the dam our water has been cut off for 15 years, because of this, there is a pervasive drought that affects the livestock and farming.”