Report reveals severe lack of water, sanitation access

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some 10.8mn people in Mexico currently lack access to potable water, and 14.5mn people lack access to sewerage service, according to a report by Britain's Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI).

The report, called Climate Change, Migration and Security, forecasts demand for water to rise in at least seven Mexican states. The most vulnerable states, with the highest costs for finding sources for water supply, are Mexico City (DF) and Mexico state (Edomex).

This growing demand will be exacerbated by displacement of rural communities due to factors such as changing weather conditions, which are likely to provoke more frequent and intense droughts, leading to increased competition among potable water consumers.

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Water will be sought in urban centers, which could put added pressure on areas already experiencing water shortages, such as DF.

In addition, the country's deficient water infrastructure is resulting in losses of up to 40% and 50% in potable and irrigation water respectively, further limiting access to basic services, according to the study.

The report also highlights the low quality of available drinking water; Mexico ranks 106th out of 122 countries in terms of the quality of its drinking water. As a consequence, the country is the second largest consumer of bottled water in the world after the US.

The full RUSI report is available here