Mexico City Borough Xochimilco resilient again

Published: 13 October 2016

Together with Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Deltares will contribute to the Resilience strategy for Mexico City. This concerns the plan for Xochimilco, in which we will study (future) water problems and how to overcome them.

20 million residents

The 20 million residents of Mexico City live in an area at high risk from flooding and earthquakes. The rapid growth of the city, the shortage of clean water and the occurrence of floods therefore create many health problems.

Xochimilco borough of Mexico City

Xochimilco, one of the boroughs of Mexico City, is a Unesco World Heritage site due to the old canals and traditional Chinampas (artificial islands) dating from the time of the Aztecs. Today, however, Xochimilco has major problems with its water management. The original water system has totally changed and the traditional use of land has come under great pressure due to urbanisation and lack of sanitation. The latter results in poor water quality. The area is regularly flooded and often suffers water shortages. Many of the residents of Xochimilco therefore have no running water or other facilities.

The land has subsided considerably

Following years of groundwater pumping, the land has subsided considerably causing a great deal of damage to houses and infrastructure.

With the existing knowledge and data about Xochimilco available from Mexican knowledge institutes, local governments and other interested parties, Deltares plans to produce integral models of the ground and surface water system, using simulation software such as Delft3D FM and iMOD. With these models, the borough will be able to improve its future water management. Attention is focused on:

  • Flood prevention
  • Water supply
  • Water quality
  • Sufficient drinking water
  • Discharge and treatment of waste water
  • Land subsidence prevention
  • Urban planning and introduction of measures

Deltares and UAM will thus be contributing to the sustainable improvements required to restore resilience and buoyancy to Xochimilco.

Dutch know-how at UN conference on cities: “The New Urban Agenda” (HABITATIII, 17-20 October, Quito, Ecuador)

On Thursday 20 October, Deltares and representatives from Guayaquil are presenting a case in which our recent research on the biggest city in Ecuador plays a role. We will also be talking to representatives from other delta cities about their solutions. Together with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), we will be demonstrating how we feel cities could increase their resilience.

Alongside a representative from Mexico City, Deltares will also be presenting the Deltares contribution to the resilience strategy for this mega city. Just prior to Habitat III, Deltares and Mexico City reached agreement about this plan.

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