Impacts of Water-management Decisions on the Survival of a City: From Ancient Tenochtitlan to Modern Mexico City17 noviembre 2010
Department of Environment and Resource Studies, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Water Policy and Governance Group (WPGG), University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Water-management decisions can influence city sustainability. The actions implemented based on these decisions can mitigate, and even prevent, certain water-related risks. Likewise, they can also intensify already existing dangers or generate new ones. Water-management decisions are linked to the institutions that make them, to their capacity for solving specific waterrelated problems, and to perceptions about which water problems should take priority. Mexico City’s inhabitants have been exposed to insufficient water supply, low water quality, a lack of sanitation services and catastrophic floods since the city was originally built. These risks have forced city authorities, at different times, to implement measures to prevent them. This article analyses how water-management policies have developed over the centuries, and how these policies have affected the city inhabitants, and the environment. The study uses as an example the history of watermanagement decisions and practices in Mexico City. It also points out relevant future directions for water policy.