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Thirsty Cities

Urban Environments and Water Supply in Latin America

Thirsty Cities by Danilo J. Anton
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Many cities in Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing a water crisis as sources become exhausted or degraded. Urbanization, deteriorating infrastructures with a lack of funds for repairs, and inadequate polices are conspiring to cause water shortages.

People are becoming concentrated in megacities, such as Mexico City with a population of almost 23 million, that have outgrown their water-supply systems. Urban areas are increasingly incapable of supplying water and sewer systems for their populations. By the year 2020, more than 500 million inhabitants of Latin America (two-thirds of the population) will be living in cities of more than 100 000.

Water shortages are a complex issue of both supply and demand. In Thirsty Cities, author Danilo Anton provides pertinent geological and environmental information as he discusses surface and groundwater supplies and explores the many issues surrounding access to water in cities. He explains the significance of surface water contamination and the vulnerability of groundwater systems and provides a persuasive argument that the consequences of this situation may be catastrophic. He also outlines policies and investments that are needed to improve urban water supplies.

International Development Research Centre; January 1993
177 pages; ISBN 9781552501085
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Title: Thirsty Cities
Author: Danilo J. Anton