About the Author

Andrea Arzaba
Student / Blogger (Mexico City)

Andrea Arzaba defines herself as a “journalist, peace activist, indigenous cultures lover and an eager world traveller”. Currently, blogger for Global Voices Online and for Adopt A Negotiator Project. Andrea is studying her BA in Communications at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. She studied last year at Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain.

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Water Loss: 6000 Liters Per Second!

Published 25th January 2011 - 6 comments - 10979 views -

Every second about 6000 liters of water sent to Mexico City are lost through leakage. This happens through  System Cutzamala.

When I read last sentence, I felt disturbed.

Cutzamala System  is the central State of Mexico’s major piece of water infrastructure, providing nearby Mexico City and the surrounding area with its drinking water. The system, which started working in 1974, supplies at least 16 cubic meters of water per second to the region’s inhabitants.

This is Mexico. The central regions that Cutzamala System sends water to are:
State of Mexico (ME) and Mexico City (the red dot)

More about Cutzamala

In 1976, government started to work into this powerful hydraulic supply system, the biggest of the country. Cutzamala system was planned in several stages. The use of the water stored in 8 dams was used before for generating electricity.

The Cutzamala System can transport 14.9 cubic meters of drinking water per second (that’s 19 percent of the region’s total supply!)


Cutzamala System Mantainance. Picture taken from esmas.com

And why are we in trouble...

This massive piece of infrastructure wasn’t built without a few complications. These are some of the major difficulties it faced:

One major problem was the distance – the water from the Cutzamala system has to travel about 130 kilometers to Mexico City. Another difficulty was finding a way
to pump water uphill; Mexico City is at a higher altitude than the dams that hold its drinking water. This required a considerable investment.
The height the water must be raised is to reach the nation's capital is equivalent to eight times famous Latin American Tower (45 floors ...8 times!)

According to journalist Raúl Llanos Samaniego from La Jornada Newspaper "Illegal connections, illegal settlements, pollution,  structural damage and siltation are the main problems affecting different sections of Cutzamala system, affecting the efficiency of the main water source of Mexico City and its suburbs. This was revealed by an assessment, prepared by the Engineering Institute of UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico)".


If 14 000 700 liters per second are sent to Mexico City through Cutzamala system, and 6000 of them are lost, that means there is still a long journey to take in order to prevent the loss of some of our most precious resource!

 Because if we, the affected ones, do not care, then nobody will. TH!NK ABOUT IT!

(Andrea Arzaba, January 2011)











Category: Management | Tags:


  • Andrea Arzaba on 25th January 2011:

    Water is one of our most precious resources…and we are wasting it in massive quantities!

  • Avgi Lilli on 01st February 2011:

    I would feel disturbed too!
    I have found myself in a similar position when a couple of years ago, when Cyprus was still in that extend period of drought (this ended last year when we had lots of rain, thank God!) some people were washing their cars using garden hoses. At that time the authorities were encouriging people to report such incidents, even anonymously. This should be a post subject, I think… :)

  • Andrea Arzaba on 09th March 2011:

    My fellow bloggers! I invite you to read the follow-up for this post here: http://water.thinkaboutit.eu/think5/post/beyond_the_leaks/

  • Laura White on 12th January 2014:

    Related stuff:

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