Mexico City was built atop a series of ancient lakes. The earth underneath the huge urban metropolis used to be a source of freshwater. However, this began to change in the 1800s with the discovery of huge volumes of groundwater under pressure, which resulted in the formation of artesian wells. By the 1930s, when individuals began digging significant numbers of deep wells, the first indicators of major groundwater level decreases were seen.
Around 80% of Mexico City’s useable water is supplied by groundwater. However, demand from the greater Mexico Metropolis area’s roughly 18 million population is draining the aquifers dry, causing the city to steadily sink into the soft soil of the historic lakebed. Over the last century, Mexico City has plummeted nearly nine meters.
Water consumption is increasing as the world’s second-largest metropolis expands. Meanwhile, resources are becoming increasingly scarce in this rather dry region. The municipality’s out-of-date water supply system exacerbates the shortage. Rusted, leaking pipes lose more than a quarter of the city’s valuable water supply.
Many citizens of Mexico City live outside of the piped distribution system’s reach. Piping systems are simply not accessible in quickly developing communities with unrestrained growth. In some locations, municipal service is sporadic, if not non-existent. The majority of these folks must satisfy their hunger through other means.
Approximately one million people rely only on water supply trucks or their smaller counterparts, such as small-tank bicycles. Some of these people reside in new, planned communities. Water trucks are part of the government’s distribution strategy in various areas of the city and are funded by municipal funds.
The only source of water in undeveloped districts, which are frequently slums, is a privately run truck. The impoverished in these regions, who lack access to piped water, must rely on private automobile transportation to neighborhoods without water or basic sanitation. They, ironically, pay the highest costs of all. Some people, trapped by reliance on private contractors, spend more than a tenth of their annual salary for water in a city when those on the outdated plumbing system pay considerably less.
Trucked water is frequently of superior quality than the city’s renowned tap water, but its quality varies greatly. Many providers merely deliver filtered tap water in steel tankers, while others may deliver water that is dangerous to drink. Residents transport the water back to their houses in plastic buckets.