President Enrique Peña Nieto said Mexico plans to invest 415 billion pesos ($31.9 billion) in water infrastructure between 2014 and 2018 to guarantee all Mexicans have access to that vital resource.
Speaking at the conclusion of a meeting of the World Water Council’s Board of Governors, Peña Nieto said Mexico is aware of the water challenges at the global and national level.
“Today, 35 million Mexicans have limited water access,” the president said, recalling that per-capita water availability in the country fell from 18,035 cubic meters (635,650 cubic feet) in 1950 to 3,982 cubic meters in 2013.
He noted that Mexico’s geographical location makes it vulnerable to droughts and also prone to hurricanes and intense rainfall, which raise water levels but also cause serious damage to homes, basic infrastructure and crops.
Peña Nieto said water is a basic resource for human development and wellbeing and that its availability is essential for food production, hygiene and public health, as well as the viability of human settlements and companies’ operations.
He stressed, however, that the era of easy and abundant water has come to an end in Mexico and across the globe.
The president added that those responsible around the world for water management and supply will face increasingly complex scenarios due to overuse and pollution, intensified by demographic growth and climate change.
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Water management is a global issue that requires the commitment of the international community, according to Peña Nieto, who expressed confidence that the WWC’s efforts will lead to mechanisms that guarantee water supplies for the entire planet.
The 36 members of the council’s Board of Governors participated Wednesday and Thursday in a preparatory meeting for the 7th World Water Forum 2015, to be held in South Korea.
They discussed issues related to the human right to water and the relationship between that resource and food production, energy, health, nature, natural disasters, climate and urban development, among other aspects.