– In this municipality – the most populous in the State of Mexico – water is looted, because those who get it regularly do not pay for the service and those who do not have it get hachicoleros up to 300 pesos a tambo To be able to sell it again extract it from wells and networks, which is why around 500,000 people regularly suffer from short supply.
With over two million users, Ecatepec has 4,280 liters of drinking water per second, of which 2,880 liters are extracted from 95 wells installed in the city (30 of them have been drilled or rehabilitated since 2019 to date). and 1,400 liters per second is obtained. from the Katjamala system and the Los Reyes branch.
However, in recent months the municipal authorities have criticized the reduction of the flow coming from Katjamala to 980 liters per second, which affects the distribution of water, mainly in the neighborhoods of the fifth zone and other parts of the municipality. .
This has prompted residents of neighborhoods such as Sauce I, Fuentes de Aragón, Sagittario, 16 de Septiembre and Novela Mexicana to stage frequent blockades to demand drinking water supplies.
Susana Arrieta, from the Los Sauces neighborhood, lamented that in a year she only gets water through the network once or twice a week, which has forced her to build cisterns or get tambos to store the liquid, which insufficient to meet their most pressing needs. ,
In view of this, he said, they must buy water from private pipes, which they make a profit by selling 100-liter drums for up to 300 pesos, mainly during the hot season, which causes them to repeatedly blockade as the pressure . Demand to regularize service
Eli Benjamin Hernandez, head of the Ecatepec Drinking Water, Sewerage and Sanitation System, reported that the Kutzmala system is reducing flow to a few drops in the central regions of Tierra Blanca, Izcalí Ecatepec, Sierra de Guadalupe and Cerro Gordo, which supplies the fifth region, Which causes a decrease in the flow of population.
This situation is aggravated by the presence of Huchicoleo in the same area as gangs dedicated to illegally extracting water that had to come through the network, causing a 30% deficit, and that they sell to the same neighbors to whom they supply drops. ,
The Ecatepec government is investigating alleged members of a network of robbers of drinking water that has been operating for more than 20 years in the eastern and western regions of the fifth zone of the municipality. He said that he started six investigation folders related to the theft of fluid from the hydraulic network.
In view of this, the Mexican Congress approved reforms to the penal code to classify as a crime the theft and subtraction of drinking water from hydraulic infrastructure, known as “huachicolos” of water. Who will be punished with imprisonment of up to eight years.
Benjamin Hernández commented that prior to 2019 no wells had been drilled to help mainly supply the fifth sector, arranging one on Pichardo Pagaza street with a water treatment plant to guarantee water in that sector went.
However, he remarked that, although the drilling of three wells had been achieved, the Federal Electricity Commission has not allowed the execution of contracts for the historic debt of 67 million pesos, for which he had to work through the power plants .
However, this is not enough to meet demand in the entire municipality, where the network is 45 years old and where three out of 10 outlet owners pay for the service, which, he assured, is more expensive than carrying water every day. to the houses.
Because it has become a vicious cycle, where those who have water don’t pay for it and those who don’t have it buy it from huchicoleros, and while the networks are in poor condition and the water system is running in the red.