Equity and Water in Mexico City

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SOUL’s response to the NYTimes’ article, Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis.

Mexico City is at a breaking point. With a population of 21 million people, the metropolis is subsiding up to 9 inches annually during its worst years. Like New Orleans, it drained its wetlands long ago. This, along with a host of other geologic and climate change factors, has caused its water table to shrink, bringing its topography with it. Sound familiar?

Mexico City’s dire water shortage means an inequitable access to potable water, with the poor paying more for their water, and reliant on limited and inconsistent supplies. New Orleans is no stranger to environmental inequity. The Lower 9th Ward, for example, still lacks consistent access to fresh healthy food. Trees are an obvious barometer of wealth and health, with poorer areas suffering the health consequences of higher temperatures, along with steeper utility bills and crime.

What is SOUL doing about these problems? Since our launch in June, we have planted 161 large, native trees. Once mature, these trees will help replenish our water table, absorb approximately 80,500 gallons of stormwater per day, mitigate air, water and soil pollution, and lower air temperatures. We are strategically reforesting our city, one neighborhood at a time, and creating a system of trees at an impactful scale.

This is a must-read for New Orleanians, and should serve as a warning for what the future could hold for us. Read the article and let us know what you think!

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