Tijuana, Reliant on the Colorado River, Faces a Water Crisis

Via Associated Press, a video look at Tijuana’s water crisis:

Tijuana, a bustling border city in northwestern Mexico, is experiencing a severe water crisis due to dwindling supplies from the Colorado River, population growth, and aging infrastructure. For many citizens, water trucks or “pipas” are the only source of drinking water, their route extending with each passing day as the crisis deepens.

Tijuana’s water crisis is also exacerbated by the city’s layout and topography. Water must be pumped across steep hills and valleys to cater to communities that have developed far and wide as the city expanded by 19% since 2010. This inefficient system, coupled with the 7% water loss due to leaks, further aggravates the problem.

Residents in the city’s remote, hilly outskirts face the brunt of the crisis as their neighborhoods remain disconnected from the city’s main water lines. They are forced to rely on costly trucked-in water, which usually costs much more than what people connected to the city’s water supply pay. For example, taxi driver Aurelio Hernandez’s family uses around 1,585 gallons of trucked-in water each month, costing approximately $116 – significantly higher than what the average U.S. family pays despite Mexico’s lower wages.

Additionally, even temporary solutions are hard to come by. When the state water utility known as CESPT had to repair leaks in a primary main in April, over half of the city’s neighborhoods went without water for days, far exceeding the official 36-hour estimate.

The city’s government has promised to diversify the water supply by using ocean water desalination and treated wastewater. However, despite these promises, little progress has been made. While efforts are underway to improve the situation, for the residents of Tijuana, the reality remains a daily struggle to access a fundamental resource – water.

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 10th, 2023 at 9:47 am and is filed under Mexico.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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