Mexico Valley to benefit from $100m World Bank finance

A much-needed financial boost of over $100 million (S$135 million) could soon benefit Mexico’s ageing water infrastructure.

The Valley of Mexico Basin Organisation, part of the National Water Commission (Conagua) will benefit from World Bank financing, according to Mexican national newspaper, Milenio.

The funding will reportedly be directed towards two projects.

In a copy of a World Bank framework document, as seen by Milenio, it states: “The project is focused on two central issues: improvement in the energy efficiency and resilience of the Cutzamala System and the management of groundwater and recharge infrastructure pilot in the Valley of Mexico.”

Improving the Cutzamala System
The Cutzamala project, serving municipalities in the south of the State of Mexico and the east of Michoacán, will benefit from $60 million (S$81 million).

This follows a request from National Water Commission, Conagua, for $119.7 million (S$161.7 million) as part of the wider ‘Water Security and Resilience for Valle de México’ that could benefit over 23 million residents in the region.

According to the source, the finance will help to improve the reliability and security of the infrastructure for the adaptation against climate change. This will include strengthening the “information, monitoring and control systems”.

Contemplating water reuse for aquifer restoration
The second project attracting an additional $54 million (S$72.9 million) will address the critical groundwater situation in the Valley of México.

Depletion of water in the aquifer due to excessive pumping has led to contaminants entering the water, including nitrates, iron and manganese.

Furthermore, due to land subsidence following groundwater over-abstraction, parts of Mexico City have sunk as much as 15 inches in the worst affected areas.

Providing drinking water to almost nine million people, as well as a “floating population” of five million, the aquifer is essential yet has become a “finite and vulnerable resource”.

One proposal is artificial recharge using treated wastewater, which would use existing infrastructure at the Cerro de la Estrella plant.

Last year the Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum pledged to improve environmental services, including a significant investment to reduce pressure on a major aquifer in the eastern part of the city by closing 50 private wells.