The resort city of Acapulco will use 80 million pesos (US$7.4 million) to improve water and sewage treatment plants over the next two years in an effort to clean up its polluted bay, officials said Monday.
The announcement came weeks after a study detected water pollution at 16 Mexican beach resorts, including Acapulco. The report found that water contamination levels at the resorts did not meet governmental standards for bodies of water used for recreational purposes and had caused health problems among residents and tourists. Significant levels of pollution were found at Mexico`s best-known bay, Acapulco, and at other smaller resorts, including Zihuatanejo.
On Monday at a news conference in Acapulco, federal officials said they planned to refund water-use and extraction fees totaling 1.2 billion pesos ($110 million) to cities across Mexico in need of water and sewage treatment plants, including Zihuatanejo. Acapulco will receive 40 million pesos ($3.7 million) in federal funds, while state officials will add 20 million pesos ($1.9 million), and city officials have set aside another 40 million pesos ($3.7 million). Acapulco Mayor Alberto Lopez said the money should help Acapulco restart a sewage treatment project stalled since 1996 and “address whatever doubts exist about pollution in the bay.”
Acapulco, a mountainside resort of 700,000 people, has long struggled to clean up wastewater dumped directly into its bay. Cristobal Jaime Jaquez, director of Mexico`s National Water Commission, said the city plans to build three strategically located plants in an effort to create a decentralized system that can cope more efficiently with waste.