Conagua studying US$626mn solution to increase water reserves

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Mexico's national water authority Conagua is carrying out feasibility studies for a 7.69bn-peso (US$626mn) program to restore underground water reserves in the Mexico valley area, a Conagua spokesperson told BNamericas.

As well as increasing water availability, the program aims to solve the problem of sinkholes in the federal district (DF) and Mexico state, where the overuse of underground water resources is causing the ground to sink by up to 44cm per year.

Authorities also want to prevent the pollution of these water resources, the spokesperson said.

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Proposed works include the construction of containment dams and filtration dikes to recharge aquifers around the La Compañía river basin, new wastewater treatment plants for Chalco and Ixtapaluca, and the cleanup of Xico lake, which will be used for rainwater collection.

Xico lake's drainage and water storage component also involves a potable water plant estimated to cost some 800mn pesos.

Funding for the project has yet to be approved, the spokesperson said, adding that the Fideicomiso 1928 trust fund, which contains funds paid to Conagua by the DF and Edomex governments in return for water services, has already been allocated to other projects this year.

Most of the Mexico City metropolitan area is built on an underground lake and the city has a long history of flooding. Work is currently underway on the 15bn-peso Túnel Emisor Oriente drainage tunnel, which will ease the pressure on the city's overstressed drainage system.