The future of water in Mexico is up for debate

The future of water in Mexico is up for debate

“Water problems are increasingly present and are spreading to different regions of the country. If you were to build a map of the Mexican Republic with all the water problems, there is not a single city that does not suffer from them seriously,” says Manuel Perló, doctor in Urban-Regional Planning from the University of California.

The water crisis responds to several factors. The lack of rain is one element, but there are others in which we all have some responsibility. The government, residential areas, agriculture, hydroelectric plants, thermoelectric plants, industries. However, politics will now break down (further) this conversation.

In round numbers, the use and distribution of water is divided into four parts: 75% of the total water goes to agriculture, which means that the largest consumer of water in Mexico is the agricultural sector, while residential areas consume 14%; then comes the energy sector with 7% and industry consumes the remaining percentage (4%).

Data fueling the crisis:
The hydraulic infrastructure of the country is, on average, 60 years old. “We have 3,960 plants and 2,500 of them do not work outright,” says Manuel Perló. “It is very serious and worrying that an infrastructure that cost billions of pesos is stopped or in its final phase.”

Along with the lack of maintenance, there is a lack of foresight and a poor culture of care and use of water. The leakage in the networks is an average of 46%; that is to say, the water that reaches our houses has already left a decrease of 46% due to how obsolete the networks are.

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There are people who say that water for human consumption is not going to end, that it is only poorly distributed. But not. Water is a finite resource and that is why we can already see how wells and aquifers are running out. A lot of rain has to come to recharge the aquifers, but many years have to pass for that to happen. We have to do something. Already.

According to the experts, it is urgent to invest in water infrastructure and maintenance, promote water security (be certain that the resource is available), guarantee the human right to water, and promote the care and sustainable use of water in all sectors.

At this time, there is an exhortation from the SCJN to the current Legislature to issue a law and guarantee the human right to water enshrined in Article IV of the Constitution (currently there are between 10 and 12 million people without access to it). This warrant is given because a law had to be issued for 10 years. Thus, in September the discussion begins.