Water was already a scarce and expensive resource for millions of people living in the Valley of México, but the situation has only worsened since the September 19 earthquake.
About 4 million people lost their water supply after the quake, and although the service has been reestablished for most of them, close to 400,000 people still have no running water in the Mexico City boroughs of Iztapalapa and Xochimilco and in the México state municipality of Nezahualcóyotl.
The National Water Commission (Conagua) has estimated that repairs will cost close to 400 million pesos (almost US $22 million). The commission says another 400 million pesos will be required to fix the damage elsewhere in the country.
It also has to repair close to 500 leaks that sprung throughout Mexico City’s water distribution network as a result of the quake.
Both issues, said the Conagua chief, are to be addressed and resolved within the next two weeks.
Roberto Ramírez de la Parra believes the situation can only be compared to the aftermath of the 1985 earthquake, even though there’s no official record of the extent of the damage to the system at that time.
Conagua’s work will continue after restoring service because as drilling is needed in at least five wells that partially collapsed in the quake.
Ramírez said Conagua officials will remain on the alert for new leaks, because a large part of the water distribution network in the greater Mexico City area dates back to the 1970s.
Source: Excélsior (sp)