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Building Sustainable Water Policy in Mexico City

Building Sustainable Water Policy in Mexico City

Program: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program
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(Dow Fellows Program 2018)

Mexico City suffers from both an inadequate supply of potable water and a lack of centralized water recycling. One out of five residents have tap water for only a few hours per week and 40% of potable water is lost as it travels through the city’s pipe system. Since a significant proportion of Mexico City’s water is sourced from distant reservoirs and the aquifer below the city’s surface, it is imperative that the city sustainably recycles its water.

We will work with a local nonprofit, La Isla Urbana (The Urban Island), dedicated to enhancing water security through rainwater harvesting in Mexico City. While the NGO’s projects are addressing one side of water insecurity (source point), they can be expanded by treating the water in a closed-loop system. There are multiple challenges is addressing decentralized water treatment: psychological and cultural resistance to drinking reused water, technological implementation, and cost. We are suggesting conducting a feasibility study, including surveys of residents, which will then guide the nonprofit in determining the potential for implementation and adding water treatment systems to their product line.