Mexico City residents have been grappling with water shortages since the nineteen nineties. These issues have been an amalgamation of political, social, and economic failures which shall be examined in subsequent parts of the essay.
Description of the problem and how it is affecting the community
Numerous residents in Mexican cities lack flowing waters in their taps. Even those who may be lucky enough to have water may not be safe from problems because their water is dirty and brown in color. Most of them have been forced to purchase water from vendors in order to meet their daily needs. In other scenarios, citizens have to contend with extremely low water pressure in their taps. The problem recurs from season to season and in certain years, the city can go without water three to four times in a season (Thomson, 2007).
Resource management factors that contributed to the shortage
Poor planning is one of the reasons that have contributed to the crisis. This water shortage has been a result of low reservoir levels. In Mexico City, residents depend on a river basin while the rest is obtained from underground wells. In fact, the latter source is largely responsible for what people in this City receive. The problem began during the construction of the City. At that time, foreign conquerors drained water from a large lake in order to provide adequate space for the City. However, the City has begun sinking into this depression/ valley thus making it exceedingly difficult to pump water to different parts of the City. Research reveals that approximately forty percent of the water intended for residents is lost while getting to them. It can therefore be said that the water distribution system is haphazard and full of flaws – a result of poor planning.
The City of Mexico has also been growing at extremely high levels. Currently, population estimates indicate that in the next five years, the population will rise by approximately four percent. This implies that the City’s administration may have to contend with rising water demand which may increase by about twenty percent. Failure to account for and plan for this fast-growing population has contributed to the current water crisis (Vaknin, 2008).
Poor water conservation techniques are also another issue that caused this problem. The people of Mexico City consume approximately three hundred liters of water daily. Such an amount is about fifty percent more than what City residents in Europe use. People there just do not see the need to conserve water as there is no incentive to motivate them i.e. price. Administrators have underpriced such a scarce commodity and have therefore caused residents to become reckless.
Climatic factors are also to blame. Mexico has been experiencing a decade-long drought since the nineteen nineties. Thus drought has been extremely severe to the point of being equated to historical droughts in the location such as the Mexican drought of 1950 and others in 1580 as well as in 1560 (Tellez, 2009).
Recommendations for addressing the management issues
The first thing that needs to be done by the Mexican City administration is to start equating the price of water to its actual value. This will cause residents to conserve it as they will be aware of the repercussions that could emanate out of the wastage of such a precious resource. In the past, the low price of water in the City has made it rather difficult for City administrators to collect enough revenue for maintaining the system.
However, since City residents do not fall within the same income bracket, then the administration should deal with these disparities by subsidizing water supply for low-income earners as they may end up being victimized. In fact, many poor people in this City are already conserving water because they pay twenty times more for every liter of water they consume compared to their counterparts in more affluent areas. It is often common to find poor families sacrificing their daily showers in order to have enough to feed their children.
Another strategy that the Mexican City administration could pursue is carrying out water conservation campaigns. Persons in non-low-income parts of the City may not be aware of the importance of conserving this commodity and they need to be told about the consequences of not doing so.
Municipal water services should not be privatized because administrators tend to look out for their own interests rather than the common good of the populace (Tushaar, 2008). In fact, there should be an overhaul of the entire Municipal system because it appears that current individuals have failed to carry out their responsibilities.
Perhaps one of the most important strategies is the adoption of long-term environmental measures. Mexico should deal with the drought problem by conserving its trees and curbing deforestation as this could have contributed to the problems. Aside from that, the administration needs to carry out a series of projects designed to get underground water from other parts of the country that have it. Water management and water design need to be implemented on a very serious level throughout Mexico and a large sum should therefore be dedicated to funding these projects.
Mexico City is an example of a location in which poor economic, social, and environmental flaws have come together to cause a very big water crisis. Poor planning, poor water conservation, poor pricing, poor administration as well as unfavorable climate have led to current circumstances. However, there are some possibilities for future corrections if the latter City educates its masses on water conservation, overhauls the municipal administrative system, carries out water design projects as well as eliminates deforestation.
- Thomson, B. (2007). Mexico is facing serious water problems.
- Tushaar, S. (2008). The Global underground situation. “International water Management Institute” 3(12), 45
- Vaknin, S. (2008). Who owns the world’s water?
- Tellez. L. (2009). “Water shortages affecting millions in Mexico.” El Universal .