The director of Mexican national water authority Conagua, José Luis Luege Tamargo, has called for a new tax on water to cover the cost of wastewater treatment and reforestation, Conagua said in a release.
While new water tariffs are going some way towards covering the cost of providing potable water, the severe drought in Mexico means attention must be focused on ways to bolster the dwindling water supply, according to Luege Tamargo.
“What Conagua has recommended is that a percentage, even a small one, less than 1%, is used directly for environmental services,” Luege Tamargo said.
“The main challenges when it comes to water in Mexico Valley are recovering integrated water basin management, implementing territorial planning so Mexico City doesn’t keep growing horizontally, and recovering forests and gullies to encourage the replenishment of aquifers,” Luege Tamargo added.
Users in Mexico’s federal district (DF) have been subject to new water rates as of January 1, when water utility SACM began charging users for potable water services according to their socioeconomic status.
The new system meant dividing each block of the city into one of four economic categories, with the highest-earning areas receiving the lowest subsidies. However, users have encountered several flaws in the system, according to local press reports.
Users in the Aragón neighborhood have been categorized as “middle class,” despite many houses in the area having corrugated iron roofs, paper Crónica reported.
Congresswoman Aleida Alavez Ruiz, from the leftist opposition party PRD, said that the tariff scheme is being revised, and adjustments will be made as a priority over the coming months, the report said.
Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site], 22 Jan 2010