On 1 December 2021, IWA-YWP Canada hosted Dr. Yu Chen from the Centre for Global
Engineering at the University of Toronto in the webinar on ‘Community-based Water
Management: A Reflective Commentary on the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City’.
Dr. Chen discussed the unique hydrological landscape of Mexico City and its peri-urban neighbourhoods as well as the water security challenges that Mexico City is facing. He also pointed out the gap between actual and on-paper quantification of Mexico City’s piped water supply, which resembles many similar urban neighbourhoods in the global south. In order to tackle such challenges, he talked about the need for a diverse portfolio of finding alternatives to groundwater sources, increasing wastewater treatment, improving rehabilitation of natural water bodies, and promoting ecotechnological initiatives. His analysis of Tecámac metropolitan area’s community-based water interventions was the focal point of the webinar.
Participants were intrigued to learn the effect of socio-economic activities, rapid urbanization, and population growth on municipal scale water delivery system and joined in an engaging Q&A session with Dr. Chen where he highlighted typical challenges of community-based water systems and pointed out how the SPUr initiative at the Centre for Global Engineering is tackling some of those through interdisciplinary and community-focused research. He mentioned that community-based water systems are remarkable achievements; however, to make the most out of them the lack of technical capacity and legal voids need to be eliminated.
IWA-YWP Canada team is thankful to Dr. Chen for painting a clear picture of the water
issues that many metropolitan areas in the global south are facing and also for addressing the policy changes and supports that are crucial for community-based water solutions to thrive. The recording of the webinar can be watched here.