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North American Water Issues

Project VITAL
The main objective of the VITAL project is to promote the direct exchange of journalism students between members of the consortium for purposes of furthering cultural awareness and knowledge about environmental journalism, with special emphasis on water resource and water sustainability issues.  This Department of Education program offers students living stipends to study water issues in one of the NAFTA countries.  For more information, UNM students should contact Dr. Glenda Balas at:



Environmental Justice at the Border (by Yasmin Khan)

Yasmin Khan, a UNM Journalism grad and current UNM grad student in the Department of Community and Regional Planning, asks whether the regional water supply and other environmental issues have come to the fore with extensive maquiladora development in the Santa Teresa / San Geronimo border area.  See her animated multimedia report titled, Environmental Justice at the Border: “Mexico’s Largest Maquiladora and What it Means to New Mexico.”   Also read a PDF version of Khan’s written report that is available at that multimedia site. (La presentación es disponible en español tambien. . . Ver su multimedia animados informe titulado, Justicia Ambiental en la la Frontera:  La maquiladora más grande México y lo que podría significar a Nuevo México.


Gray Water in New Mexico (by Julia Greer Black)

Julia Greer Black from Kings University in Halifax received a grant from the Fund for the Improvement for Secondary Education (FIPSE) to study during the Spring 2010 semester at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Julia is a student of the University of King's College Honors Journalism Degree Program in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Upon completion she will pursue further education and continue, wherever she is, to learn about water related issues.

 "I didn't realize life could be so different in the United States, in particular Albuquerque. Where I come from on the East Coast of Canada, I took water for granted because it was constantly around me in the Atlantic and in our many lakes and rivers. It also fell very often in the forms of snow, slush or just (a lot!!!) of rain. I can't wait to find out if anyone is using water conservation tactics like those of rain water catchments and gray water systems, as they are in Albuquerque. UNM provided me with a wonderful education and a great base with tremendous support for my involvement in Project Vital."

Julia's project URL: