Deputy Urges Government to Address Water Scarcity in the North
Rubén Muñoz, President of the Chamber of Deputies’ Commission for Water Resources, Drinking Water and Sanitation, said that northern Mexico is at risk of experiencing droughts in 2023 similar to those in 2022. He urged authorities to work together to avoid water shortages in Nuevo Leon and other northern states.
According to Muñoz, the country’s water distribution is unbalanced since 82% of the water resources are located in central and southern areas that produce only 17% of the national GDP, while the northern region, which produces 80% of the GDP, can only access 15% of the water.
Muñoz stressed some actions authorities must take to avoid another water crisis. He said that upgrading irrigation systems for the country's farmers is essential to avoid wasting water. Similarly, he highlighted metropolitan areas waste 45% of water via leaks. “In Monterrey, we must draw water from the Panuco region to ensure the productivity of this important region for at least 300 years,” Muñoz added.
Muñoz continued that it is important to open talks with Mexico’s best technicians regarding water issues. “People must understand that a water crisis is coming next summer if we do not start regulating the demand now. We have to tell both the industry and society that they must save water,” Muñoz added.
According to Muñoz, over 21.3 million Mexicans do not have access to the public water network, while 29 million do not have access to drainage. He also said that public investment in water infrastructure is insufficient to tackle these issues but acknowledged that the number of resources approved for water infrastructure projects has significantly risen.
The amount of investment for water infrastructure projects in 2022 totaled US$1.76 billion. This amount almost doubled for 2023 to US$3.53 billion, which is the largest amount approved in the history of Mexico. However, experts suggest that the optimal amount for such projects is US$4.2 billion.
The National Water Commission (CONAGUA) reported that the largest water-consuming industries are agriculture, livestock and aquaculture, which consume over 76% of the concessioned water. They are followed by domestic-urban usage consuming 15%, industry, trade and services 5% and energy generation, excluding hydroelectric power, with only 4% of the water, as reported by MBN.