Conagua Announces 25-Year Water Supply Plan for Mexico City

Mexico, MEXICO CITY

Mexico’s National Water Commission (Conagua) has announced a new plan to ensure water supply in Mexico’s Federal District for the next 25 years.

Conagua head David Korenfeld said the program will be centrally managed and will make determinations at the federal and local levels. 

The plan focuses on “working together with the vision of the city as a great metropolis,” rather than on finding new sources of supply or strengthening existing sources, Korenfeld said.

Meeting with members of the Hydraulic Resources Commission of the Senate last week, the Conagua chief said that the plan will cover three key areas -- choosing which sources of water will be used, determining dates, commitments and monitoring of activities under the plan, and introducing a new metropolitan body to manage the program.

“This agency will be the principal authority in the management of water drainage in the metropolitan zone of the Valley of Mexico. We are going to join forces and create a single decision-making body for water management, so that there exists no possibility of misinterpretation in collaboration,” he said.

Conagua’s model was based on the experience of other large cities like London or Barcelona.

Korenfeld said the Cutzamala water system will be completely restructured, with an alternative channel to support water supply to the Federal District.

Also last week, Ramón Aguirre Díaz, director of the Water System of Mexico City (SACM) said that Mexico City’s water problem could be resolved with 30 years of continuous work.

The problem in the municipality of Iztapalapa is a particular challenge for the city. So, “on instructions from the Governor of the Federal District Miguel Ángel Mancera, we are preparing a program that obviously cannot be short term, as it is a solution that implies efforts over several years,” he said.

SACM will present a six-year, $156.5 million USD plan to deal with Iztapalapa’s problems, with the goal of providing sufficient water in all areas of the city, said Aguirre.

The water system will also waive water charges for some areas of the city. This is not a social program, but compensation for residents who have received poor service, according to the organization.

“Seventy percent of the population of Iztapalapa does not have problems and has service of good quality, but 30 percent does not have the same service; we have problems of quantity and quality of water,” Aguirre said.

“The challenge of the capital’s government and of society is to succeed in reducing water consumption and improve their habits,” he said. He said the city needed to cut water consumption by 30 percent.

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