CONAGUA Rules Out Droughts in the Valley of MexicoBy Fernando Mares | Wed, 08/31/2022 - 14:03
As northern states like Nuevo Leon suffer a substantial water crisis, some are worried that this situation could also be replicated in areas like the metropolitan area of Mexico City, which recently has suffered from water shortages and supply cuts. Nonetheless, the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) ruled out this possibility, as the areas exist in wildly different contexts.
During the presentation of a comprehensive water plan for Mexico City and the State of Mexico, Víctor Bourguett, Director General of the Watershed of the Valley of Mexico (OCAVM), CONAGUA, stated that thanks to the work of Mexico City and the State of Mexico, the possibility of reaching Nuevo Leon’s levels is off the table, even though the overexploitation of the city’s water deposits is a reality. Overall, the new plan will require US$943,000 to carry out 11 projects to increase the water supply for the State of Mexico and Mexico City.
Bourguett warned that there are some issues that must be addressed if both governments want to assure water supply for their inhabitants. Water leaks and a lack of appropriate infrastructure have caused problems, for example. According to Bourguett, over 37 percent of the water in the Valley of Mexico is wasted because of leaks. Therefore, CONAGUA plans to reduce these leaks by 15 percent, which will allow the Valley of Mexico to have a surplus of 5.3m³/s of water.
In addition, the plan aims to increase the current flow of 64.5m³/s to 74.4m³/s through special measures like the replacement of primary and secondary water pipelines. It is expected that by the end of 2022, authorities will replace over 191.7km of pipelines and another 95km between 2023 and 2024. To prevent water leaks, authorities will launch 150 squads and 15 modules to detect, repair and take care of citizen reports.
Regarding the Cutzamala system, whose dams have reported lower water levels for consecutive years, Bourguett announced CONAGUA will carry out a general maintenance aiming to increase the drinking water supply from 13.6m³/s to 15.4m³/s. At the same time, it will rehabilitate 71 wells in Mexico City and 130 wells in the State of Mexico. Mexico City’s Mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, pointed out that the city will eventually stop exploiting water deposits in the eastern part of the city to avoid overexploitation. This would then reduce the number of water leaks and the sinking of land.
Other initiatives include the recovery of important water bodies and infrastructure in the area, which include the Tlahuac-Xico lake, Zumpango lagoon and the Madin dam, as well as capturing rainwater.