Water Shortage Puts Mexico In Check
Published 10th November 2010 - 0 comments - 1057 views -
Juan Carlos Machorro
Date: 26 agosto2010
Feature for website www.miambiente.com.mx
Mary Smith lives in the foothills of Chiquihuite, in northern Mexico City, every day gets up at 3 am to set aside sufficient water for basic household chores. You only have two hours to capture as much as possible in any vessel available. Otherwise it will be another day without this vital resource.
What lives María Sánchez is only one edge of the water shortage in urban areas where liquid waste is 40 percent of 36 cubic meters are delivered to the Metropolitan Area of Mexico today encompasses the Mexico City suburbs Mexico State and a couple of municipalities in the state of Hidalgo, for its endowment to more than 20 million living in the region.
Although Mexico is a very paradoxical, being the first country and city macrometropolitanas-Metropolitan Area of Mexico, more water reuse, 8 percent, said Blanca E. Jimenez, a researcher at the UNAM, where one of the serious problems of shortage is the aging of the distribution system.
And further, also denounced the problem of poor implementation of public policies on water. Emphasizing that the City suffers from differential subsidence of 40 cm in parts of the city by 157 percent over-exploited to the aquifer, which revealed not well attended by both federal and local authorities.
Currently, water is increasingly threatened by pollution and poor, human demand and excessive agricultural use, said the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and he seeks rational use of appropriate policies. In Mexico, water is a commodity that suffers from the hand of the man who has been contaminated and can not find a suitable solution, several cities in periods of 5 to 10 years will not have water to fill the thirst of several million people.
It has been such a waste and poor planning of water use and refused, that Mexico happened to be a nation of half availability of water at a low, in the first three decades of the twentieth century, the availability of passing water 18.035 meters cubic meters per year per person to 4.416 meters cubic.
And provision of potable water, Mexico is the site 90 of the world. This results in that 97 percent of the country susceptible to a moderate or high degree of desertification and reduction of precipitation as a result of Climate Change (CC).
According to José Luis Luege Tamargo, head of the National Water Commission (Conagua), depletion of aquifers is critical in several national watersheds such as La Laguna, El Bajio, Mexico Valley and the cities of these areas, highlighting DF, León, Hermosillo, Coahuila, in 5 years can lose its water and that lead to a crisis never seen before.
Example of the seriousness of water shortages in Leon, Guanajuato draws water to 500 meters below ground level, which contains heavy metals.
For Conagua, the seawater desalination is not the solution for the future in Mexico, because to do so-desalination-cost equivalent to 100 times more expensive than the current costs of removal and extraction of ground water.
Anne Beauman, Project Coordinator of the Strategic Programme Fund of the British Embassy in an interview with My Environment, said "we agree that the issue of water in Mexico is a priority, since lack enough to do, and we in the UK scheme working with the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA), on the impacts of CC on water quality.
That said, for Mexico to progress in this area will be a central issue in their struggle and adaptation to the lack of it, and hopes that this project will establish the basis for further action and that people like what decision makers include in their agendas and finally do something about it, it is a very serious issue, he said.
Similarly, when asked about it, Carlos M. Rodriguez, regional vice president of Conservation International, said "there are different levels of progress or lack of progress (water supply for the population), from country to country, even from state to state. Even this, Latin America, he notes, has the highest per capita supply highest in the world. But, he added, has not been possible to plan an appropriate use of water, there continue to be conflicts between uses (domestic and agricultural). Mainly the problem is not supply but only a problem of governance, he said.
CONTROVERSY OVER THE PRIVATE CAPITAL
Luege called private companies need to participate in the provision supply, water treatment and recycling, as city agencies agreed that water management throughout the country suffer from a "high obsolescence of aging."
Therefore, considered that "it is a necessity, as local operators do not have the financial potential in new infrastructure," but said that private money has been misrepresented, and that today is involved in other services as the same water in some cities , Aguascalientes, León, Monterrey, "is usually a good step, distribution, measurement claimed, construction of aqueducts, the private sector will only participate in the service."
What was not specified whether these rules will come to accept the companies seeking to have control of the liquid, coupled with rising costs. Specified that the primary would be "without losing the sovereignty of the water," it would be up to the Conagua.
The director of Conservation International, said on this subject that "can be an option to the centralized system in the state that has so far shown to be inefficient. There are very positive experiences in Colombia and Brazil to privately owned systems. The important thing here is to be a management from the public or private requires a policy framework and modern institutions for sustainable use. Mexico has very interesting and important experiences that can be the platform for a sustainable management framework for long term. "
POLLUTED OCEANS AND SICK
According to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), the Mexican marine ecoregions are characterized by severe damage by various natures, and that when suffering from environmental assistance to little avail.
In Mexico highlights the CCA, eutrophication is prevalent along the coasts and expands the "dead zone" in any marine area, which prevents the life of coral, fish and other creatures, ranging from Tamaulipas Veracruz, Tabasco and is expected to reach the Yucatan Peninsula. In our country, almost 4 tens of millions of people live in coastal cities in over 10 thousand kilometers of national costs.
This type of pollution is reported annually by Greenpeace, when holiday periods analyzed water beaches visited by national and international tourists, such as Cancun, Veracruz, Acapulco, that despite the refusal of the Secretariat the federal Environment (SEMARNAT), have a natural phenomenon of erosion of the sand, dirty water and debris.
NO MORE WATER VEDAS
Have reached such a shortage problems, over-extraction, pollution, lack of distribution and quantity of water carried on in our country that the National Water Commission (Conagua) amend its extraction in more than 100 closed areas or reserves, for decrees presidential several national watersheds.
José Luis Luege Tamargo, told my environment that these closures, with over 50 years old, are obsolete and are focused on the use of certain amounts of water for power generation, so that will be modified to be unsustainable with current reality.
Likewise, it is known that at least 500 municipalities pay the consequences of overuse, affecting 10 million Mexicans. Conagua notes that the high extraction of groundwater has led to declines in groundwater levels, which has led to the disappearance of springs and rivers.
He said that these decrees are out of place and check Conagua not increase water use, but to reorient agricultural use as Balsas watershed tech and Grijalaba, and the generation of electricity in some of the more than 600 hydropower minigeneradores to reuse the resources. The idea is to open the availability of water for other uses.
The new Presidential Decree ban no plans to increase usage, but to focus on diversification and proper utilization. Theme that works in parallel with the Commission Federal de Electricidad (CFE), and in coming months, will lead to a government statement in this regard.
Facts Mexico Water Atlas of the Conagua show that of the 13 national hydrological regions in 7, the degree of pressure on the resource is very strong. These regions are Baja California, Northwest, North Pacific, Balsas, South Pacific, Rio Grande, North Central Basins, Lerma-Santiago-Pacific and Aguas del Valle de Mexico, which have an average above 50 per cent capacity.
In Mexico, has 145 existing closed areas, published between 1948 and 2007. The Official Journal of the Federation provides three types of closed areas in which you can not increase the amount of water taken over areas that only allow domestic extraction, and areas that allow limited withdrawals for domestic, industrial, irrigation and others.
The first applies mainly in Sonora and central China, the second in southwestern Sonora, Coahuila, Chihuahua, West, San Luis Potosi, southern Veracruz, Chiapas and Yucatan, and the third in the Baja California Peninsula, Nuevo Leon, Guanajuato, West of the Midwest and southern Quintana Roo.
EARTH AND WATER
- Over 70% of the planet's surface is covered with water.
- 97% is salt water in oceans.
- 3% is freshwater, about 40 million cubic kilometers.
- 1 km3, equivalent to 1 billion liters of water.
- 2% of this water is in glaciers and ice caps.
- 0.7% of water is groundwater.
- Globally, the desalinated water was estimated at 7.5 km3.
- The European Union is 85% of wastewater.
- The world's poorest people pay between 5 and 10 times more for water than people with higher incomes.
- Every 15 seconds a child dies in the world for lack of water.
- In Europe, a person discards 100 liters per day, while in the south of the Sahara, a family only has 20 liters.
- 1.100 million people in the world lack safe drinking water, while 2.400 million, does not have basic sanitation.
- There are more than 100 countries and semi-arid conditions.
- Desertification threatens 33 percent of the land surface and punished more than 200 million people.
Source: UN, FAO, Greenpeace, WWF
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