Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mexican Utilities - Water

The city water is off. Not a surprise because it is off periodically. It is the reason why most of the houses built now have cisterns and water tanks. Sometimes it will be off just a few minutes and sometimes for a few hours. I've heard stories of the water being off for several days in houses that are up on the hillside.

We often see water running down the street from a break in a water line so even if the water supply was deemed safe for drinking, I won't drink unfiltered water from the tap because there are too many breaks in the lines. Three times a week we have 19 liter water jugs delivered to the house. The cost per jug is 16 pesos, about a $1.50 each. Many of the houses built by or for gringos have water filtering systems but they have to be maintained properly and if you have a water filtering system then you need a pressure tank to keep the water flowing thru the house. Life in Mexico gets more complicated (and expensive) with each added amenity. Actually, I've been surprised at how easily we have adjusted to using bottle water.

Today the water being off is a problem. The masonery people are trying to finish up on the house so we have lots of concrete mixing going on for the sloped floor of the terraza so it will drain properly as well as a number of other projects. In fact at one time today there were 3 piles of different cement mixes outside the front door. After the water went off, we were able to run a hose from the back terrace where the water supply is from the water tank that can get it's supply from the cistern.

Water is precious here and the issue of having adequate water supply for the future was the subject of several conferences in the last year. There are proposals for building a Jack Nickolas golf course in the area and those of us who are residents wonder how that can be done without significant impact on the water supply.

Over the next few days I'll blog about the other utilities.

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