60% are contaminated and purifiers are unreliable

Polluted water in Mexico: up to 60%.  (Getty Images)

Polluted water in Mexico: up to 60%. (Getty Images)

The water that Mexicans consume is contaminated at such high levels that consumption alone represents a risk. This was reported by the Mexican Association for Correct Hydration (Water in Mexico) through its director Juan Francisco Bustamante. In an interview with Milenio, Bustamante highlighted that 60% of the water reaching homes in Mexico is contaminated with substances From suspended solids to heavy metals and fecal coliform.

A common option, spread throughout the Mexican territory, is to buy water from distributors who are in charge of purifying it and selling it in different presentations for consumption. These branches also supply supplies to the general public and resellers who then distribute them to homes. However, although the idea is that they clean water, purifiers are far from representing a solution to the problem.

A family man fills a jug of non-potable water in Nuevo Leon during July 2022.  (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)A family man fills a jug of non-potable water in Nuevo Leon during July 2022.  (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A family man fills a jug of non-potable water in Nuevo Leon during July 2022. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

On the one hand, because, as cited by Bustamante, 7 out of every 10 containers contain fecal coliforms, bacteria commonly grown in the intestines of animals, which can cause various gastrointestinal diseases and potentially fatal salmonella or hepatitis A. Can become the reason. The problem is that the water offered by the purifier is low in salt.So instead of dealing with dehydration, it can aggravate it, as well as cause dizziness and vomiting., “They are offering water that obviously does not make you sick, but over time, it causes other types of consequences for our body,” Juan Francisco Bustamante stressed in the interview with Milenio.

The situation is made even more serious considering that health authorities do not have full control over these distributors (there are controls, but not enough), and therefore they cannot monitor the way the water is managed or crime. Cannot punish all the people who do it. And other authorities, who are in charge of water supply, do not do so with quality or safety in mind. Thus, neither of the two options, public or private, fulfills the basic need of daily life.

View of La Boca Dam in Santiago, Nuevo Leon state of Mexico, during World Water Day on March 22, 2022.  (Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP via Getty Images)View of La Boca Dam in Santiago, Nuevo Leon state of Mexico, during World Water Day on March 22, 2022.  (Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP via Getty Images)

View of La Boca Dam in Santiago, Nuevo Leon state of Mexico, during World Water Day on March 22, 2022. (Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP via Getty Images)

“(Purifiers are an) accessible and low-cost solution, but of questionable quality. The reality is that in Mexico we do not have water of the quality determined by the World Health Organization and the United Nations: accessible water, quality, affordable, it Does not exceed 3% of income. They also urged consumers to verify that businesses they purchase from have Coffeeprice certification. And they have bacteriological studies from time to time, because this is the only way to have some certainty about the water that is consumed. Establishments that do not comply with the rules can be reported on the portal https://aguenmexico.com/.

In his column published in El Universal on January 19, Bustamante addressed the water problem on a general level, which has clear national implications: 76% of the Mexican territory faces drought and 20% faces extreme drought. Is. He highlighted the states whose crisis is deepening: Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo. And it’s not just drought, but also a lack of attention to basic services: 40% of Mexicans do not have access to drinking water or drainage.

In the Katazamala system, the problem caused by lack of maintenance is expressed in losses caused by leaks: 40% of the water does not reach its destination due to this problem. For this reason, Bustamante explained in his column, Cutzamala has 70% less water than it should. In the context of this year’s presidential election, he invited candidates to submit proposals To address a serious problem that is rapidly crossing new boundaries.

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