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Once a Smelly Nuisance, Mexicali’s Wastewater Now Brings Life to the Colorado Delta


If there is one place that transforms wastewater from trouble-maker to life-saver it’s the site of Las Arenitas sewage treatment plant in the Mexican state of Baja California.

There, nasty urban wastewater that once made a smelly health hazard of the New River near the U.S.-Mexico border is now sustaining a wondrous wetland and bird-watchers’ paradise in the northwest corner of the Colorado River Delta.

In this way, Las Arenitas joins La Ciénega de Santa Clara – the “accidental wetland” – in showcasing the revival possible by adding water to the once-verdant, but now desiccated delta. 

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