VIDEO: Private water concessions urgently needed in Mexico City

 

Strengthening water capacity

Mexico City continues to face challenges of aquifer over withdrawal and related land subsidence and urgent action is needed to accelerate international concessions on water.

That’s according to Hugo Rojas Silva, director-general of ANEAS, a non-profit that represents water operators, who described the water situation in Mexico City as “very hard”.

 

Speaking at Aquatech Mexico (watch video interview summary above), he said: “At the moment we are discussing a new law across the whole country, and we need to give water utilities stronger budgets to build capacity.

“We need private concessions for the next 20 years…and then companies with the right expertise around the world can teach us how they resolved similar challenges in their countries.”

Investment into Mexico City’s water

The comments follow a big announcement from the city mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, pledging to improve environmental services, including on waste and water.

Costing 145 billion pesos (US$7.4 billion) over six years, the CDMX 2019-2024 Environmental Program plans to reduce air pollution by 30 per cent and pressure on a major aquifer in the eastern part of the city by closing 50 private wells.

GWI recently reported that a broader economic stimulus package would see funding earmarked for the country’s dedicated national infrastructure fund, Fonadin. However, the amount of funding specifically for water hadn’t been determined.

Two wastewater treatment plants in Fonadin’s portfolio - San Juan del Río (Querétaro) and Celaya (Guanajuato) – could benefit from the additional funding.

How desperately does CDMX’s water need fixing?

Estimates suggest up to 30 per cent of residents lack daily access to potable water supplies in Mexico City, otherwise known as CDMX.

One of the biggest challenges has been matching water supply to increasing demand, with the wider metropolitan area now home to over 20 million people.

Groundwater over-abstraction has resulted in land subsidence, with parts of the city sinking as much as 15 inches in the worst affected areas.

Silva expressed the urgency required: “Out of all of the projects and programmes needed – we need to start now.”

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