Sole Sister

Cruising in the single lane

That sinking feeling

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guadeloupe cathedral

Getting a lean on…the old Guadeloupe Basilica split in two. 

There’s an irony in the subject of Mexico City’s water supply. Consider: the city was constructed directly over the old Aztec City of Tenochtitlan which was built in the middle of a lake and known as the Venice of the New World. It was famous for its rich and highly productive floating gardens. Come the Conquistadors and the lake was drained, the lacustrine wonderland destroyed. Water was then pumped from underground aquifers.

Cathedral

Listing a little, the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption.

Fast forward a few centuries and Mexico City has become one of the thirstiest cities in the world, its 21 million residents guzzling their way through  hundreds of billions of litres a year, 70 percent sourced from the subterranean sources.  But the water is not being replaced at the same rate as it is being extracted leaving the city with a significant subsidence problem, dropping a reported 9 m in the past 60 or so years.  Historic buildings in the city centre, such as the huge, more than 500-year-old, Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption, are listing and others, including the old Guadeloupe Basilica, have actually split apart. Standing inside the monumental building is an unsettling feeling, the floor beneath on a distinct incline.

sinking1

Mexico City’s location in a volcanic zone and on an earthquake fault line does not help, especially by damaging the  aging pipelines. Water is now being pumped from disputed sources over 100 km away, angering the indigenous land owners who complain that their resources are being depleted while they are denied reliable supplies.  And local households and businesses  must contend with erratic services and soaring prices . Of course, there are those who profit greatly from the premium placed on supply. Water trucks, bottled water manufactures, bottled water deliveries and public pay flush toilets, or banos, are some of the businesses which cater to fill the demand.   During our week-long stay we experienced a 24-hour loss of supply resulting in a water truck replenishing our hotel in the middle of the night. Apparently water outages are commonplace, as are sewerage problems. Maybe time to consult Tlaloc, the Aztec god of water, rain and lightning on how to how to return to the good old days?

sinking2

Nice little earner…pay-as-you-go WC.

Pay as you go WCs.

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Author: technanna

I grew up in western Queensland, worked as a newspaper and television journalist, public relations and public affairs officer and freelance correspondent in Australia, the UK, Japan and Saudi Arabia. I have three grown children and two grandchildren. I am retired, but work to keep the brain and body fit, and to stay marginally in touch in our ever-changing technological environment.

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