World Bank to provide US $100 million in financing for Valley of México water

One project will replenish aquifer; another will modernize infrastructure

The World Bank will provide more than US $100 million in financing for two water projects in the Valley of México.

A project to replenish the depleted water resources of the Valley of México aquifer will receive US $54 million, while another to modernize the infrastructure of the Cutzamala system will get US $60 million.

The funds in both cases will be managed by the Valley of México Basin Organization, a dependency of the National Water Commission (Conagua).

The federal government submitted a proposal to the World Bank for the first project, highlighting that the Valley of México aquifer is deteriorating due to the high demand for water in the Mexico City metropolitan area.

The aquifer supplies water to a permanent population of almost nine million people as well as a floating population estimated to be approximately five million.

The government proposed the use of treated wastewater to refill the aquifer via existing infrastructure such as the Cerro de la Estrella treatment plant, located in the Mexico City borough of Iztapalapa.

A World Bank document seen by the newspaper Milenio says there are plans to rehabilitate wells and build an advanced water treatment system, among other measures. The development of two pilot projects to test ways in which the Valley of México aquifer can be replenished are under consideration.

The bank noted that the depletion of water in the aquifer due to excessive pumping has caused fracturing that has led to contaminants such as nitrates, chromates, iron and magnesium entering the water table and wells in different parts of the Valley of México.

The second project will seek to improve the energy efficiency and resilience of the massive Cutzamala water system as well as strengthen its information, monitoring and control systems. It also intends to improve the safety and reliability of the system and make changes that will prepare it to confront challenges posed by climate change.

The World Bank’s commitment to provide resources for the project comes in response to a funding application submitted by the National Water Commission (Conagua) for US $119.7 million.

Maintenance work on the Cutzamala system, which supplies water to 24% of the population in the Valley of México, left millions of people without water for almost a week in late 2018.

Conagua said in October 2019 that water supply to Mexico City had been reduced from 10,000 liters per second to 9,000 liters because the reservoirs that feed the Cutzamala system were only at 75% capacity.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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