Project Global: Water


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2014 Guerra Del Agua 


The protest on San Bartolo streets ended with cruel battering of about 100 people. The citizens called this protest and further events Water War and they claimed the “battle” on 21 May was won by their collective defense, although 5 people were arrested. Citizens of San Bartolo Ameyalco gathered on streets when authorities and government water workers came to start connecting local water resources,  the volcanic spring in San Bartolo Ameyalco, with city water infrastructure.

Mexico City  is under acute water shortage. Remote settlements and poor neighborhoods have limits to water access. According statistic1 there are:
  • 9 million people without  drinking water services (five million in rural areas)
  • 11 million  without sewerage services (7.8 million in rural areas).
  • 98 % of water for supplying populated areas (322.97 m3/s), disinfected by chlorination.

The city’s human rights commission2  reported that rich neighborhoods in Mexico City consume 28 times more water than the poor ones, from 800 to 1,000 liters of water per person per day and  just 28 liters correspondingly.

Poor neighborhoods have to protect their limited local water resources if they have, as they themselves have a scarcity of water. Even if some communities have alternative water resources (nature basin or rain water) it  is not enough for the whole community and they wait for government trucks for a small supply of water. Any kind of water supply is not recommended to drink, therefore only bottle water is the source of drinking water. The bottle companies have raised the price, making access to drinking water even more unaffordable for  most of the population.

The main problem is the lack of investments in the construction and maintenance of wastewater treatment infrastructure. Therefore the old water system started to destroy and more than 40% of water is lost while distributing. The situation has not changed since 2014, as the government can not manage to introduce a new water policy.

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Protest in Mexico City for unfair distribution and lack of water supply  


Sources:https://america.cgtn.com/2015/04/05/violence-in-mexico-city-over-limited-access-to-clean-water

  1. National Development Plan 2013-2018. Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, , MexicoCity, 2014.
  2. https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/in-mexico-city-a-black-market-for-lifes-most-basic-commodity-2/