Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



WATER WORLD
In Mexico City, water a rare commodity
By Yussel GONZALEZ
Mexico City (AFP) April 26, 2017


In a teeming, hardscrabble neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City, Virginia Solis spends a big part of her day hauling sloshing buckets to her home -- one of tens of thousands in the capital without running water.

Solis lives in the shadow of a ruddy mountain on the sprawling city's far east side, in an impoverished district called Iztapalapa.

There are no water pipes in her neighborhood. Instead, tanker trucks deliver water to a cistern at the end of her street once every three days.

Solis and her neighbors then haul it home in plastic buckets.

The Sisyphean work of providing her family's water supply has made her ruthlessly economical with every drop.

"When water makes you suffer, you don't waste a bit of it," she said.

"If I needed to flush the toilet right now, I'd wash some laundry first, then reuse the water."

Her neighbor Norma Calderon oversees the neighborhood's ad hoc water delivery system.

It's another thankless job. There are simply too many people lining up for every 200-liter (50-gallon) cistern filled by the tanker trucks.

"One cistern is tiny. There are families here with seven, eight, nine people," she said.

Iztapalapa is the poorest and most populous area in Mexico City -- 1.8 million of the capital's 8.8 million people live here.

It is also the one that suffers most from a lack of water. Even in neighborhoods that have running water, it often doesn't work.

But Iztapalapa isn't alone. Across the city, more than half a million homes lack a daily water supply, and nearly 50,000 have no running water.

- Sinking city -

Originally, Mexico City was built on a lake.

Founded by the ancient Aztecs, who called it Tenochtitlan, it was constructed with a system of levees and canals.

Today, five centuries after the Spanish conquest, nothing remains of the lake -- except its soft clay bed.

Decades of over-tapping the city's aquifers have dehydrated that spongy foundation, squishing it down.

Parts of the city are now sinking by two to 30 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch to one foot) a year, according to official data.

"This problem's been around for a long time... but we've just kept putting it off," said Claudia Lartigue, a water specialist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The latest fix is to transport water from the state of Michoacan, 300 kilometers (nearly 200 miles) to the west, using a massive system of pumps and tunnels.

Today, that supplies nearly one-third of the city's water. Pumping aquifers still supplies the rest.

But nearly 40 percent of the total is lost to leaks in the city's antiquated system of pipes, according to the municipal water authority.

- Tankers under escort -

Tanker trucks, which started as an emergency solution, have become a daily supply source.

"We've become a vital link" in the system, said Alberto Sanchez, who manages one of the wells where the trucks fill up.

After filling his 40,000-liter truck beneath a giant black hose, driver Emilio Santos explained his dangerous job as he made his deliveries.

Sometimes, when a neighborhood has gone days without water, "people climb up on the truck with sticks and stones" to force him to deliver to their street first, he said.

In some cases, such attackers have carried guns. Police now escort trucks along the most dangerous routes.

In 2009, Mexico City launched a leak control and infrastructure renewal plan to cut down on waste in the system.

But the funding soon ran out.

The plan is now moving ahead "bit by bit," said Mauricio Hernandez, technical director for the city water system.

Citizens need a wake-up call on water use, he said. The average Mexico City resident uses 250 liters a day, more than double the rest of the nation's cities.

But any solution will have to be multi-dimensional, said Lartigue: rein in urban sprawl, eliminate leaks, harvest rainwater and allow depleted aquifers to replenish.

Until that happens, families like Virginia Solis's are stuck waiting for the tanker truck to arrive.

WATER WORLD
Humans threaten 'fossil' groundwater: study
Vienna (AFP) April 25, 2017
Human activity risks contaminating pristine water stockpiled deep underground since the age of the mammoths, said a study Tuesday that warns of a looming threat to a critical life source. So-called "fossil" groundwater - more than 12,000 years old - trickled into sub-surface aquifers long before it could be tarnished by pollution from farming and factory chemicals. Generally stored at ... read more

Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

WATER WORLD
Japan disaster minister to resign over quake gaffe: reports

The Nepal quake survivors who can never go home

Ukraine, Belarus leaders mark Chernobyl anniversary

Rights group urges China to release N. Korean refugees

WATER WORLD
MIT engineers manipulate water using only light

NIST method sees through concrete to detect early-stage corrosion

Berkeley Lab scientists discover new atomically layered, thin magnet

A plastic-eating caterpillar

WATER WORLD
Vinegar offers hope in Barrier Reef starfish battle

Humans threaten 'fossil' groundwater: study

In Mexico City, water a rare commodity

Research sheds new light on forces that threaten sensitive coastlines

WATER WORLD
Warm winds: New insight into what weakens Antarctic ice shelves

New atlas provides highest-resolution imagery of the Polar Regions seafloor

Researchers solve the century-old mystery of Blood Falls

More Antarctic protections urged on World Penguin Day

WATER WORLD
China-bound illegal donkey hide haul seized in Pakistan

A novel form of iron for fortification of foods

Rivers of blood orange: Juice floods Russian town

When Nature vents her wrath on grapes

WATER WORLD
Atlantic storm season starts early, putting energy industry on notice

Nepal quake injured stalked by disability two years on

Report identifies grand challenges to better prepare for volcanic eruptions

At least 11 killed in Colombia floods: Red Cross

WATER WORLD
Congolese plantation sprouts art centre to help the poor

US Defense Secretary Mattis visits strategic Djibouti

Top conservationist wounded in Kenya gun attack

Morocco, US stage joint military exercise

WATER WORLD
Prehistoric human DNA is found in caves without bones

New paper claims humans were in California 130,000 years ago

Indonesian hobbit evolved from African ancestor

Neuroscientists measure 'higher' state of consciousness




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement