Thieves don’t just target petroleum pipelines but those carrying water as well.
Water shortages in the Mexico City borough of Tlalpan are partially the result of illegal taps on pipes, according to Mayor Patricia Aceves.
She said that since she took office at the start of October, her government has received several reports from citizens about the crime.
However, the main cause of the shortages is the aging network of water lines in the borough, which is leaking in several sections.
“The problem isn’t that there is no water but rather that it’s leaking,” Aceves said.
Sacmex, the Mexico City water department, has been notified about the theft and leakage issues but neither it nor the police has done anything about them, the mayor said, adding that “I imagine they’ll carry out an operation at some point.”
Aceves explained that thieves have targeted water lines in San Pedro Mártir and San Andrés Totoltepec as well as other neighborhoods located at higher altitudes near the Cumbres del Ajusco National Park.
Residents in more than 100 neighborhoods in Tlalpan have been affected by water shortages, forcing them to rely on deliveries from trucks, which in theory could be selling stolen water.
Three other boroughs in Mexico City – Benito Juárez, Coyoacán and Xochimilco – have also suffered water shortages over the past month.
Coyoacán Mayor Manuel Negrete said that his government is constantly asking the National Water Commission (Conagua) to increase water pressure in the system.
In Xochimilco, Mayor José Carlos Acosta explained that the water pumps aren’t working effectively and as a consequences homes have experienced distribution delays.
More than 30 trucks are currently supplying water to seven neighborhoods in the southern borough.
Mexico City’s main water system was closed for maintenance work for 156 hours late last year, leaving millions of people in the capital and the surrounding metropolitan area in México state without water.
New Conagua chief Blanca Jiménez Cisneros said in January that the work could have been carried out without turning off the Cutzamala system.
This year, Sacmex is planning to carry out repair work on 125 kilometers of the Mexico City water line network.
Source: El Sol de México (sp)