A new culture of management of water

18/11/2018
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09:28
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A new culture of management of water
The Cutzamala system - Photo: Yadin Xolalpa/EL UNIVERSAL

A new culture of management of water

18/11/2018
09:28
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader
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If we consider that 97% of the water we have is underground, it becomes urgent to learn how does groundwater works

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Water; and everything related to its use, exploitation, availability, and responsible use, is a basic resource for every living creature and for all the ecosystems in the planet, it's also a key factor, of great strategic importance and a national security issue for any government.

Even then, in Mexico, we don't know what are our water reserves levels or how the groundwater reserves work or what are the best practices for its management and conservation.

This terrible institutional omission, that can't be called anything else, is an irresponsible risk for its conservation, care, and adequate use but also a serious risk for the population's security and subsistence. Just as oil and its derivatives are the fuel used for almost everything, water is a resource that makes life itself possible.

One of the most serious problems, which is the result of this omission is, for example, that they haven't determined what amount of groundwater is more vulnerable to climate change or what is the relation between ground water and the rest of environmental components, the ground, vegetation, and the ecosystems.

Also, if we consider that 97% of the water we have is underground, it becomes urgent to learn how does groundwater works. Unfortunately, the issue hasn't been incorporated into the national water management programs. The proof is that out of the 653 aquifers Mexico has, the Conagua catalogs 115 as over-exploited. And if they keep on over-exploiting them, its reserves will decrease, according to experts, and in a period of 40 or 50 years, they would exceed the levels of installed extraction capacity we now have. That is, not developing technology capable of extracting water from at a greater depth, or not maintaining the aquifers on optimum levels, which would endanger our access to water.

Therefore, we're speaking of an information deficit that should be available, even for urban design matters, but especially of a serious lack of infrastructure and institutional capacity, it's unacceptable that there isn't a long-term planning to preserve aquifers.

The water cut in Mexico City, at the beginning of this month, to fix the Cutzamala System, highlighted out vulnerability in that topic, and everything mentioned above underlines the necessity to change the management system, and the water culture in our country, because if not done, our access to water could be in danger.

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