Private water distribution companies are not as confident as Mexico City authorities about the viability of supplying water via tanker trucks at the end of the month.
The consensus among 20 such firms contacted by the newspaper Milenio was that they could not guarantee service to those requesting it.
Water service will be suspended October 31 in 13 boroughs of the capital and 13 municipalities in México state to allow maintenance and repair work on the Cutzamala aqueduct. More than 7 million people will be affected.
However, only two city boroughs — Cuauhtémoc and Miguel Hidalgo — will have their water completely cut off. The other 11 will see partial suspensions of service while three — Gustavo A. Madero, Milpa Alta and Xochimilco — will not be affected at all.
In the state of México affected municipalities are Toluca, Metepec, Huixquilucan, Cuautitlán Izcalli, Ecatepec, Naucalpan, Tlalnepantla, Tultitlán, Coacalco, Nezahualcóyotl, Chimalhuacán México and La Paz.
The water will be turned off for three days (it was initially projected to be four) but full service is not expected to resume until November 7.
In Mexico City, 930 trucks with capacity for 10,000 to 40,000 liters have been arranged for deliveries, but they expect long wait times at the locations where tanker trucks can load up, meaning they cannot guarantee deliveries to consumers.
Nor can delivery be booked beforehand because the Mexico City water department, Sacmex, will control water distribution at the 450 locations where tankers will be supplied.
Residents of Iztapalapa will have to rely solely on government tanker trucks. Private companies refuse to deliver to the borough after their trucks were stolen in the days following the earthquake on September 19, last year.
Residents will have more water at their disposal prior to the suspension in order to fill up water tanks and containers. The National Water Commission will bump water pressure by 15% five days before the suspension begins and for five days after service resumes.