Aqueduct gets a new coat of paint. Aqueduct gets a new coat of paint.

Baja aqueduct repainted to replace politically-tinted blue

The painting is part of regular maintenance, and will 'reduce visual contamination'

National Action Party blue is no longer in style in Baja California.

The blue aqueduct that carries water from the Colorado River to Tijuana, Baja California, is being repainted brown, fulfilling a request made by President López Obrador in April.

The aqueduct, which climbs more than a thousand meters through the La Rumorosa mountains pumping water 104 kilometers from Mexicali through Tecate to Tijuana’s El Carrizo reservoir, had been bright blue for decades but will now be brown, according to a government statement.

On April 22, President López Obrador criticized the aesthetics of painting government infrastructure in unnatural colors that clash with the landscape, especially when those colors are representative of political parties. 

Blue is the color used by Mexico’s National Action Party (PAN) which governed Baja California for 30 years before being toppled by the current governor, Jaime Bonilla Valdez. Like the president, he is a member of the Morena party.

“I suggested to the governor of Baja California, ‘paint the aqueduct the color of the stones,’ maybe it will not cost you much and will help to maintain it,” the president said, decrying the political tradition of painting government buildings, schools and infrastructure in the colors of the ruling party.

On Tuesday, Water Management Minister Salomón Faz Apodaca stressed that the paint being applied to the Río Colorado-Tijuana aqueduct is part of regular maintenance.

“With an environmentally friendly, polyurethane-based color, which is resistant to weather, rust and chemicals, we hope to reduce visual contamination in the desert area of ​​Baja California,” he said in a statement.

Painting the aqueduct is part of a number of measures, including electrical and mechanical maintenance, being undertaken to improve the state’s hydraulic infrastructure. The municipalities of Tecate, Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito and Ensenada receive 98% of their water from the aqueduct.

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