Third World Centre for Water Management

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Water Management in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area: The Hard Way to Learn

Development of infrastructure for water supply for a mega-city like Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) represents an enormous challenge for those responsible to provide water supply services. With an expanding population, which is considered to increase up to 25 million people by the year 2020, per capita water demand is due to become higher.

Mexican financial crisis during the last decades has limited investments in water infrastructure. This critical situation should had encouraged governmental authorities to promote water-efficiency. Unfortunately, present water supply shows that water-efficiency has not been yet accomplished: historically, in Mexico the emphasis has been on the construction of new water projects, oriented to cover the demand for water.

The present paper analyses the main water supply projects which have been developed in the MCMA and their social, economic and environmental consequences. The emerging conclusion from this analysis is that technological and financial aspects play an import role, but can not alone solve water supply problems.What is needed now is a new vision for water management that emphasises aspects such as maintenance, efficient water allocation, elimination of subsidies, capacity building and access to information. This will improve water availability in terms of quantity and quality, with less costs, as options instead of construction of water supply infrastructure.

Research Report, 2002, Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico
Report online

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