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News Article

Floods Arise Because of Poor Drainage: CONAGUA

By Rodrigo Brugada | Fri, 07/09/2021 - 14:04

In the wake of the numerous floods affecting the center and north of Mexico, Germán Martínez, Director of the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), explained that the commission is developing and implementing programs to adapt and improve drainage infrastructure. Most of the floods that have occurred in large cities are due to the lack of drainage infrastructure, added Martínez.

Martinez became Director General of CONAGUA last month by appointment of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. During his appointment event, Martínez explained that the fundamental challenges at the head of this agency are to conclude the works initiated in this administration and those left unfinished in previous administrations, as reported by iAgua. One of CONAGUA’s programs regards the adaptation of drainage infrastructure and the creation of infrastructure capable of evacuating heavy and unusual rains such as those that have occurred recently. 

Cities have combined drains in which sewage and rainwater are evacuated. While this infrastructure is often sufficient, when there are precipitations such as those seen recently, the infrastructure is insufficient to drain and reach the natural channels. Martínez added that this is a problem that the municipalities must address with support from the commission.

Víctor Bourguett Ortíz, Director of the Water Basin Organization of the Valley of Mexico, mentioned that the heavy rains are contributing to alleviate the recent droughts, during a press conference on the evolution of the Cutzamala System during the 2021 rainy season. Bourguett mentioned that, with the rains recorded in the first half of June in the Cutzamala River Basin, the drought was reduced by 17.1 percent, compared to the data from the end of May.

During the storm period, Bourguett explained that the significant blockage of large storm drains contributes to floods. The renovation of those drains has been put off partially due to costs, because in dry weather this infrastructure is not very useful. Bourguett also noted that these drains are designed for specific rainfall for a particular time and intensity, as reported by El Sol de México. This means that when there are important rainfalls, such as those that have occurred recently, the capacities are exceeded and flooding occurs.

Bourguett also urged the population to be more careful since garbage thrown in the streets gets stuck in the sewers and waterways. Once clogged, this detritus can obstruct or completely block water flow, causing or aggravating flooding.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
CONAGUA, iAgua, El Sol de Mexico
Rodrigo Brugada Rodrigo Brugada Journalist & Industry Analyst