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Would-be dam and pipeline generate local unease

Just over two years ago, alarm bells rang when all of a sudden, residents on and near Los Horcones River, south of Puerto Vallarta, saw a dozen or so workers and earth-moving equipment, and then heard dynamite blasts.

pg21aRio Los Horcones (Pitchfork River), one of seven major rivers that empty in the Bay of Banderas, is the only one that remains in its natural condition, originating in the Sierra Madre mountains with no upriver damming.

What residents and municipal officials found upon inspection was dynamited destruction in a canyon by a secretive, dodgy private company that was building an alleged “hydroelectric” dam and aqueduct upriver from the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, on a river that flows through the gardens and provides a pristine, popular swimming spot for guests at the gardens.

But most importantly the river is a water resource for many communities on and near it, including for Boca de Tomatán, nestled where the river meets the bay and a popular tourist destination for Bahia de Banderas. And with the Bahia de Banderas region suffering a sustained drought, water is a more precious commodity than ever.

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