Public-private sectors ink deal for Mexico water projects
Water treatment Digital Solutions Europe

Public-private sectors ink deal for Mexico water projects

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Projects in the water, environment, transportation and energy sectors will see investment as part of a renewed boost between the public and private sectors.

A public-private strategic alliance

Nearly 40 state infrastructure projects across Mexico will receive investment as part of a renewed boost between the public and private sectors.

A total of 39 projects in the water, environment, transportation and energy sectors will receive a total investment of over 290 billion pesos (US$13.9 billion), according to a report in the Mexico News Daily.

As well as high profile road and rail projects, 1.6 billion pesos (US$75.3m) will be invested into wastewater management in Naucalpa, México state, as well as a water supply system will be built at the new Mexico City airport.

This will be to alleviate challenges with water piped a great distance to the airport at “high costs”.

“A taboo that must be broken”

Hugo Rojas, general director of National Association of Water and Sanitation Companies of Mexico (ANEAS) welcomed the announcement but cautioned that the investment should filter to all sub-sectors in water.

Speaking to Aquatech Online, he said: “Private participation in water and sanitation sector is necessary given the reduction in federal budgets that have occurred since 2016. However, in Mexico, private participation is often confused with privatization - it's a taboo that must be broken.”

Rojas added: “The announcement made by the presidential office represents good news. However, this investment must be constant, and in all water subsectors, for example, the federation's announcements are only for a couple of works.” 

The director general cited Mexico City, which has “sufficient resources to invest that amount of money, but in the rest of the Mexican republic, the levels of investment won't be enough”.

He said: “Let us remember that according to international recommendations, for a country like Mexico, 0.3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should be invested in water. That would represent more than 75 billion pesos (US$3.5bn) annually in a sustained manner.”

An investment vaccine for economic paralysis

Alfonso Romo, the head of the president's office, reportedly said: “Private consumption will recover slowly. The best vaccine that Mexicans have to fight against the economic paralysis is private investment.

“Private investment is [our best] hope to overcome the crisis because it represents 87 per cent of total investment in the country, and it’s vital for growth and wellbeing.”

In June Mexico City's Mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum set out plans to improve water infrastructure, including reducing pressure on a major aquifer by closing 50 wells.

Part of the CDMX 2019-2024 Environmental Program, at the cost of 145 billion pesos (US$7.4 billion) over six years, this includes planting 15 million trees across the city, as well as reducing air pollution by 30 per cent.

Five pillars have been established as part of the wider CDMW resilience strategy, with the second focusing on water: “Promote Water Resilience as a New Paradigm to Manage Water in the Mexico Basin”.

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