Oaxaca, with insufficient water and on the verge of collapse, studies reveal


According to an official document, the authorities can only supply 33% of the water required in Oaxaca and the metropolitan area, so currently 40% of the population is supplied with pipes, but users are prone to the spread of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio

The shadow of the water crisis is approaching Oaxaca and federal and state authorities have remained silent on the matter.

According to official documents held by EMEEQUIS, Oaxaca is about to face shortages for the population.

The authorities can only supply 33% of the water required in Oaxaca and the metropolitan area.

“Given the demographic growth of the city of Oaxaca and its metropolitan area, the supply of 1,200 liters per second (lps) of drinking water is currently demanded; however, the existing sources are limited so it is only possible to supply 400 lps, generating a deficit of 800 lps; that is, the population of the city of Oaxaca and its metropolitan area have an insufficient supply of drinking water,” recognizes the National Water Commission (Conagua).

The problem is aggravated because the federal agency admits that “there are no updated studies to define the strategies and actions that contribute to defining a comprehensive project for the supply of drinking water to the city of Oaxaca and its metropolitan area.”

The municipalities that conforme the metropolitan area of Oaxaca are: Magdalena Apasco, Nazareno Etla, Oaxaca de Juárez, San Agustín de las Juntas, San Agustín Yatareni, San Andrés Huayápam, San Antonio de la Cal, San Bartolo Coyotepec, San Jacinto Amilpas, Ánimas Trujano, San Lorenzo Cacaotepec, San Pablo Etla, Villa de Etla, San Sebastián Tutla, Santa Cruz Amilpas, Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Santa Lucía del Camino, Santa María Atzompa, Santa María Coyotepec, Santa María del Tule, Santo Domingo Tomaltepec, Soledad Etla , Tlalixtac de Cabrera and Villa de Zaachila.

These municipalities along with the capital already face water supply problems.

“Currently, at least 40% of the population is supplied by purchasing pipes because they do not have enough water through the service provided by the Operating Agency, not counting the population that continues to increase in the surrounding colonies,” admits Conagua.

The alerts are raised because the Federal agency recognizes that water from private pipes represents a risk for families in Oaxaca and the metropolitan area.

“Due to the lack of knowledge of the origin and the lack of hygiene in the handling of water for sale in pipes, users are prone to the spread of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid fever and poliomyelitis,” it is stated.

The supply of public drinking water is in charge of the Drinking Water and Sewer Operator System (SOAPA) of Oaxaca, which depends on 27 underground sources and 2 surface sources.

As a result of the lack of water for the population, SOAPA has to resort to trial runs in the drinking water service, which consists of scheduling the supply of some neighborhoods only during certain days and hours and having to cut off the supply in others, and thus be able to supply other areas.

“This has caused an increase in the discontent of the beneficiaries due to not having a continuous drinking water service,” it is admitted.

Today there are no proposals, strategies and actions that allow defining a comprehensive project for the supply of drinking water in the state.

“Due to the overexploitation of the aquifer, the volume of the existing sources is limited; that is, it is not possible to extract greater flows; nor is it possible to think about greater extraction of water on the periphery of the aquifer or in the surrounding areas, since it would affect the underground flow towards the Zimatlán valley,” is stated in the Conagua report.

Every time we have to drill deeper, however, the water does not have the best conditions for its use and consumption, “the quality of the groundwater is being seriously affected by the high content of iron and manganese.”

Furthermore, the existing surface sources, located in the ejidos of San Agustín and San Felipe, present social problems, due to the requirement of excessive payments for permission to use the land.

Not only is there little water available, there is not cared for and is contaminated, Conagua acknowledges.

“The quality of surface waters is affected by residual discharges from the main populations settled in the valleys, which are discharged without prior treatment into the channels of the Atoyac and Salado rivers,” it is stated.

Over the years the supply has become complicated and few investments have been made.

Supply sources do not increase, but the demand for water does increase due to the construction of new neighborhoods, and waste is also recorded due to deteriorated hydraulic infrastructure.

“The distribution infrastructure presents deficiencies, lack of sectorization, leaks due to direct pumping in parts of the network, poor condition of pipes and poor equipment. The hydraulic infrastructure for supply is insufficient. There are no pre-investment studies for the construction of new sources of supply, so the necessary infrastructure has not been built,” indicates the federal agency.

The Operating Agency presents efficiency problems, does not have an updated user registry and has low collection for payment of services.

“As a result of not having a continuous and safe drinking water service, the beneficiaries have stopped paying for the service provided by the Operating Agency, since they have to resort to purchasing water in pipes continuously, thereby increasing their family expenses,” it states.

The collection for the payment of the drinking water service has been reduced by up to 40% by the user registry, so there are no resources for new hydraulic investments, resources for the operation and maintenance of the existing infrastructure decrease.

The water crisis has arrived in Oaxaca and the governments of the Fourth Transformation, federal and state, do not have a solution in the short or medium term, but they have their sights set on 2024 and not on solving the water shortage.

Source: Emeequis