GGR288-2010 Exam Answers
a. Why is Mexico (the country) faced with a water shortage that is predicted to become worse in 25-40 years?
not many public sewage systems. In 2002 only about 27% of the waste water was treated
low groundwater quality
from 122 countries Mexico is ranked 106 in its water quality eg. it is very low
high phosphorus and arsenic in many lakes
high dissolved oxygen
groundwater over exploitation
annual precipitation very low
Mexico ranked 94 out of 182 countries for natural water availability
increase in industrialization has put stress on aquifers
b. Mexico City has a severe water shortage problem. Why?
lower decreased water supply
high population growth around a small reservoir of water
weak sewage system
Overdrafting or over use eg. Ogallala river
c. What is Mexico City doing to provide water to its citizens?
It is estimated that there are some 1,200 water utilities throughout the country providing 83.3% of the
population with drinking water
a. What do the Dublin Principles say about how we should regard water?
Water is a resource that has now become an economic commodity
Water has an economic value in all its uses, and should be recognised good.
b. Discuss the positive and negative aspects of privatization of water supplies.
Public water agencies have been unable to satisfy the most basic needs for water for all humans;
private water companies build, own, and operate water systems around the world with annual
revenues of approximately $300 billion
NEGATIVE it may bypass under-represented and under-served communities
can worsen economic inequities and the affordability of water
Privatization agreements may fail to protect public ownership of water and water rights
Privatization agreements often fail to include public participation and contract monitoring
Inappropriate privatization efforts ignore impacts on ecosystems or downstream water users
Privatization efforts may neglect the potential for water-use efficiency and conservation improvements
privatization agreements may lessen protection of water quality, they lack dispute-resolution procedure
a. What is a water right?
A water right is a right to use and access water. Ownership of a water right normally means
usufructuary power and not ownership of the water body itself
b. Discuss the issue of water rights using the Edwards Aquifer (Texas) example.
Historically, Texas law granted complete ownership of ground water to the landowner above it. This
common law was ruled and replaced long time ago in most US states. After several serious droughts
serious legal decision to enforce the endangered species act and citizens actions that raised public
awareness about the importance of the aquifer led Texas legislature to gradually impose public control