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The future of water supply
The Cutzamala water system - Photo: Jorge Alvarado/EL UNIVERSAL

The future of water supply

05/11/2018
09:28
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader
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Promoting a water saving and recycling culture has become essential for Mexico

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In regards to access to water, the country is divided in two: in the north, the resource is scarce, while it is abundant in the south/southeast. The capital is located to the south but the water supply is an issue that has complicated in the last years. Supplying water to 20 million people that inhabit a city 2,200 meters above sea level is a complicated task.

Since last Wednesday, 13 municipalities in Mexico City and 12 municipalities in the State of Mexico were put to the test, as a water cut would take place for four days, to work and repair the Cutzamala system, that supplies water to most of Mexico City; this was the longest water cut in the last years.

Authorities advised to save water in containers and use it more efficiently, although millions of people don't know how to do so.

People still believe that water saving means closing the water tap, but it is a matter of habits and actions that have to be taken, for example, the use of water-saving taps and shower heads. Although the habit of washing cars and sidewalks with hoses was eradicated years ago, it is not enough.

Mexico City is known for its training in regards to civil protection, learned after tragedies caused by earthquakes. It is time that all the inhabitants on the metropolitan area in Mexico City begin to realize the importance of taking action to save water. It is about learning to use rainwater and recycling the water used to wash dishes or clothes. Instead of going through the drain, it was be reused for other chores.

The authority also has an important endeavor. Official numbers show that 40% of water supplied to the city is lost in leaks, due to an old infrastructure.

Nevertheless, the issue affects the whole country, as 77% of the Mexican population inhabits the arid and semi-arid areas in the country, where water is scarce. According to numbers from 2010, the average availability of water in northern Mexico is of 1,730 cubic meters for person per year, while in the rest of the country it is of 13,000 cubic meters.

The issue of over-exploited aquifers is not exclusive to the center of the country, but a nationwide issue. Promoting a water saving and recycling culture has become essential for Mexico.

Hopefully, the contingency has made millions of people aware that water is a scarce resource and that only its rational use will allow a future supply. What is done now, in regards to water, will guarantee the viability of the country.

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