In Mexico, more than 10 million people do not have access to water; experts propose to invest in modernizing the current infrastructure.
The weak hydraulic infrastructure and the scarce sanitation network exacerbate the water problems in Mexico both in the north and the southeast of the country without solving the chronic failures now aggravated by the effects of the climate emergency, according to several experts .
According to the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA), it would take more than 20 years with an annual investment rate of the order of 49,000 million pesos to achieve sustainability and water security in Mexico.
The National Water Commission (Conagua) recognizes the serious water problem in the country since 8 of the 13 hydrological regions of the country suffer from water stress; Two-thirds of the population lives in regions where there is less water and of the 653 aquifers, 157 present a situation of overexploitation.
In addition, in 14 states there are significant delays in daily access to water and sanitation services, and approximately 10 million people do not have access to water.
For this reason, Mexico urgently needs to invest in infrastructure modernization and conservation, more efficient management, the improvement of the regulatory framework, and the improvement of financing schemes that facilitate the participation of private initiative in the sector, explains José Luis Luenge, president of the Ciudad Posible association.
Problematic in Chiapas
Rodrigo Hess Poo, the coordinator of the Jovel Valley Basin Committee and citizens for territorial action, assured that “the future of water in Chiapas and the southeast is increasingly uncertain.”
“The debate persists to reduce the water used for agriculture because it consumes a lot, but deforestation, climate change, population growth, backward and inefficient water use techniques explain the serious conflict we are experiencing,” said Rodrigo Hess Poo.
” Conagua actually has half the operating and investment budget of ten years ago and in this way it is impossible to solve all the accumulated problems,” added Jose Luis Luenge.
Luenge recalled that 70% of the water that Mexico consumes is destined for agriculture with a notable level of waste and lack of efficiency.
“The contrast is enormous between the high-tech irrigation systems in states like Baja California, Chihuahua or Sinaloa, which have the best irrigation technology, while archaic systems remain in the southeast and Chiapas,” he added.
” To try to solve the water problem in the southeast and Chiapas, we must concentrate on improving irrigation techniques for agriculture,” continued Luenge.
Hess Poo, former director of the Municipal Potable Water and Sewerage System (Sapam) of San Cristóbal de las Casas, stressed that it is “strange that a very high volume of water is produced, but the water is not necessarily in the right place.”
The engineer recalled that human settlements have always developed around a water source and in the case of Chiapas the settlements are increasingly far from available water ”.
And the quality of the water?
He gave us an example the city Tuxtla Gutiérrez, capital of the state of Chiapas, which takes the water from the Grijalva River to treat it, pump it and distribute it to the city, but it suffers serious problems because the population does not cover the expenses and therefore there are quality problems or of sufficiency ”.
He pointed out that most of the organisms in Chiapas have the same problem: ” An inability to operate well and efficiently, coupled with the change in the pattern of rains, which is causing some areas to suffer periods of drought.”
Hess Poo argues that another serious problem is the network leakage of the utilities throughout the country, which is between 30% and 50% of the water pumped.
” There is a great waste of water and I think we do not have instruments or concern to address this problem that could help a lot to raise the quality of the service or reduce the costs of the utilities,” he said.
He pointed out that in San Cristóbal de las Casas “it is estimated that the waste is 50% that means between 15 and 20 million liters per day lost and that is worrying and I think this problem should be addressed.
Hess Poo said that drinking water “at least in the south of the country has become an electoral asset” and that to change things “it will have to be a drastic change and that citizens not only demand services but also participate in the solution of problems. problems”.