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Rescooped by Franco Boulle from Geography Education!

Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis

Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis | Mexico |

"A host of environmental factors are threatening to push a crowded capital toward a breaking point."

Via Seth Dixon
Danielle Yen's curator insight, March 3, 2017 8:45 AM

Urban ecology, environmental justice, gendered inequities, primate city politics, the struggle of growing megacities…it’s all here in this fantastic piece of investigative reporting.  The article highlights the ecological problems that Mexico City faces (high-altitude exacerbates air pollution, interior drainage worsens water pollution, limited aquifers that are overworked lead to subsidence, importing water outside of the basin requires enormous amounts of energy, etc.).  just because the article doesn't use the word 'geography' doesn't mean that it isn't incredibly geographic. All of these problems are at the heart of human-environmental nexus of 21st century urbanization. 


Tags: urban, megacities, water, environment, Mexico.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, February 8, 1:04 PM
(Mexico/Central America) Mexico city seems to be built in the worst way possible. The original Aztec architects could not imagine the locational problems the city faces today. Originally built on an island, Spanish conquerors drained the lakes and created an inland, mountainous position that causes the city to sink inches every year. Ironically, the city is now forced to use underground water sources or expensively import drinking water and poor locals can rarely count on tap water. The uneven clay and volcanic soil foundation and climate change further drives subsidence of this unplanned metropolis. Climate change will also create a series of floods and droughts and the inefficient sewage and water system will lead to devastation.
David Stiger's curator insight, September 21, 1:32 PM
The impending environmental disaster that Mexico  City faces is fast approaching. Urban sprawl has placed too much pressure on the environment. Its relentless pavement prevents the clay underneath the surface from absorbing water.  Mexico City is losing its potable drinking supply and the structures on top are sinking. This problem is only being made worse by climate change. 

As usual, this a problem that hurts poor people the most. Mexico City diverts water from surrounding towns, many of them struggling, to the metropolis. The wealthy and affluent are provided all the water they need at a fair price. Meanwhile, people inside and outside the city do not have enough water, must wait for their water on absurd schedules, and overpay. 

The sociological effects are even more alarming. Possibly 15 percent of the city's inhabitants may migrate from the city in search of better water resources. For a large city of 21 million people, that is a significant amount of migrants. Besides migrants, women suffer even more than men. Due to such an unreliable supply of clean drinking water, women must wait at home and manage the household's water problems. They are the family members responsible for collecting sufficient water. As a result, women are prevented from going to school or taking up careers. 

Mexico City's water problem is an equity problem. If the powerful and the wealthy were being adversely affected, maybe something drastic would be done to improve the situation. 

Rescooped by Franco Boulle from Geography Education!

U.S.G.S. Topographical Maps

U.S.G.S. Topographical Maps | Mexico |
Think of them not as cartographic abstractions, but as incredibly affordable Pollocks.

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 10, 2017 10:01 AM

Good cartography lies at the intersection of rigorous scientific data display and a aesthetic touch of beauty.  This article is an ode to the beauty of USGS topographic maps as affordable pieces of art.  Geography students that start their own mapping projects need to recognize that good cartographic work often needs to be both an art and a science to fit the needs of their intended audience. 


Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.