The Efforts to Provide Safe Drinking Water in Mexico


MEXICO CITY, Mexico — People hear it on the news, in articles and travel guides. Do not drink the water in Mexico. It seems as if everyone has deemed Mexico’s drinking water unsafe. Leaky old pipes and aquifers are drying up and there are plenty of challenges to improving Mexico’s drinking water situation. In 2016, 77 million people did not have access to safe water in Latin America. Mexico desperately needs a solution to make it safe. Luckily, people are implementing solutions to provide safe drinking water in Mexico.

The Situation

Mexico’s drinking water situation proves that the government needs to do something. Around 40 percent of the water that travels throughout pipelines is lost to leaks and never reaches the people of Mexico. The fact that the pipes are losing this amount of water means that 20 million residents in the metropolitan area do not have enough drinking water. In poor neighborhoods that do not have a lot of resources, nearly 30 percent of households have no access to clean water.

Three Solutions to Provide Clean Water

Luckily, the people of Mexico are uniting to solve this predicament. Here are three main solutions to make Mexico’s drinking water safe.

  1. Harvesting Rainwater – Rainwater harvesting is an easy solution to collecting water. In one year, one system can catch almost 15,000 gallons of rainwater. A team of engineers, designers and sociologists installed the first rain-catching system in 2009. Since then, people have installed more than 2,600 systems in Mexico. The uses of this technique prove its benefits and it is a relatively inexpensive process. Academics at the University of Guadalajara have approved this as a sustainable resource because solution is environmentally safe and inexpensive, the latter being especially important to those in poverty. 
  2. Water Delivery Trucks – Trucks are another solution to Mexico’s drinking water situation. The trucks are transporting water into different rural cities in Mexico for delivery to the locals. About one million people receive and depend on these trucks for their water. These trucks are essential because they are often the only source of water for some of the poorest neighborhoods in Mexico. They deliver clean and safe water to those that reside in Mexico City. Clearly, this solution is one that gives relief and makes sure that Mexicans have access to clean and safe drinking water. 
  3. Cutzmala System Repairs – Major repairs are set to happen in Mexico on October 31, 2019. The government is finally going to repair the pipes that have been leaking for so long. These pipes carry water uphills and throughout cities, but have been getting weaker, so that they are unable to retain much water. This system is known as the Cutzamala System and It pumps water hundreds of miles up a steep incline. It is vital to Mexico’s drinking water as it provides about 30 percent of the current safe drinking water. José Ramón Amieva is the head of the city government and announced that the repairs on the Cutzamala System are official and should last until November 4. Not only does the government have plans to repair the Cutzamala System but it also intends to expand it.

Mexico is on its way to gaining safe drinking water thanks to the repairs to the Cutzamala System, the use of water delivery trucks and the collection of rainfall. Water is a fundamental human right that everyone deserves access to. Luckily, innovations such as these are helping improve the situation. The solutions are sustainable while, at the same time, they give access to clean and safe drinking water.

– Emme Chadwick
Photo: Flickr


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