Data-driven, sustainable drinking water provision in Mexico

In many countries centralised water supply systems are failing to offer reliable supply of clean water. The main causes for this include incorrect design, changes in water demand (growing population, growing prosperity, false predictions), ageing assets, over-exploitation of water resources and climate change. Improving system performance will have benefits including more reliable water supply, reduced losses of water to leakage, reduced operational costs (especially electricity costs), reduced sanitary risk. Due to costs it is generally not possible to completely modernise the infrastructure. However, through better use of existing assets, and by making smart, cost effective changes to the system, performance can be improved.

Watershare partners Victoria and KWR will work together on a sustainable drinking water provision for the Mexican city of Ciudad Guzmán. They will focus in particular on the sustainable management of groundwater, in combination with the refurbishment and optimisation of the existing distribution network. ‘The cities are growing quickly and their distribution networks can’t accommodate such growth,’ according to José de Jesús Guerrero Zúñiga, mayor of Zapotlán El Grande, which encompasses Ciudad Guzmán. ‘For the sake of the health of the residents, it is extremely important that the drinking water provision be improved,’ says SAPAZA director, Alfonso Delgado Briseño. ‘Our aim is to soon provide clean, safe drinking water at the tap, 24 hours a day.’ The ambition is to develop the water provision in Ciudad Guzmán into a compelling reference for all of Mexico, particularly with regard to the sustainable use of water and energy.

The project will apply a data-driven approach to achieve a sustainable drinking water provision. Key technologies to be applied are intelligent wells, that make use of sensor data to determine how much water can be abstracted sustainably. Furthermore, the distribution network will be tailored to the city’s actual water demand, through the application of the Self-Cleaning Networks technology.

In this video, made by Watershare member Victoria, it is explained how current design practices for water supply systems in Mexico can be improved. The water supply system in The Netherlands serves as example. Research and experiences from full scale implementation projects can be applied in Mexico to save water, costs and to improve service and wellbeing.

Mexican delegation.