Lack of culture, illegal connections to blame for water crisis - senator

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mexico's ongoing water crisis has resulted from factors such as a lack of culture and awareness of responsible water use, as well as theft and corruption, according to senator Arturo Escobar y Vega of opposition environmentalist party PVEM.

The country has yet to implement an integrated water resource monitoring program, which is fundamental to allow for efficient administration and usage, Escobar y Vega was reported as saying by local paper La Prensa.

Up to 70% of groundwater is used to supply water for the country, with its quality affected by illegal wells, overuse and extracting water from contaminated areas.

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''It's evident that the national water authority [Conagua] is incapable of stopping and sanctioning illegal pipelines and connections, which have become a significant problem in our country as they generate economic losses and create shortages for those with legitimate connections,'' added Escobar y Vega.

Another factor affecting the country's water service is the incongruity between information from Conagua and the federal district (DF) water utility SACM, according to the senator.

Conagua estimates that 3,048 illegal wells are operating in the Mexico Valley metropolitan area, while SACM figures show 4,000 illegal wells, the report said.