Calzada del Agua, an innovative solution for sustainable watermanagement in Mexican cities

In Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico, a feasibility study will be conducted in which a circular water system is proposed as a solution to both flooding and drought. This concept incorporates the BlueBloqs technology. This technology provides local collection, treatment, underground storage and reuse of rainwater. BlueBloqs is a modular, nature-based solution specifically designed for urban areas to harness every drop of rainwater

The approach

The project team will gather technical, institutional, financial, and spatial data through desk research. This information will be used to develop and test a technical model. Simultaneously, the project creats a spatial matrix to ensure the model’s applicability in similar Mexican settings. Following this, a business case will be crafted to assess the overall feasibility and identify potential cities in Mexico for scaling the product. Throughout this process, local communities and other stakeholders will actively be involved to enrich the team’s insights.

The objectives

This feasibility study delves into technical intricacies like subsoil specifics, rainwater storage constraints, and legal implications. Additionally, we assess social reception for our new public space design and the economic viability of Calzada del Agua, positioning it as a holistic solution for sustainable urban water management in the Mexican market

What makes this project unique is that we directly link the captured water to the end user

José Antonio

The team

The Calzada del Agua consortium consists of Beccan Davila -Puentes (BD+P), FieldFactors (FF), and Centro SC. Together, they form a strong coalition combining design strength, a local network and smart technology.

Beccan Davila -Puentes (BD+P) has been working on strategic spatial planning for almost 20 years, including 13 years in Mexico. BD+P specialises in water-related tasks.

FieldFactors (FF) is an innovative Dutch startup in water technology and sustainable urban water management. FF has developed a circular water system to ensure the availability of freshwater in urban areas while preventing flooding due to extreme rainfall.

Centro SC is a Mexican consultancy that is talented in finding local interested parties, promoting products, connecting with different partners and analysing the regulations for implementing such solutions.

How does the project affect water security

In Mexico, flooding and water scarcity pose significant challenges. Heavy rainfall leads to frequent street flooding, causing an annual damage toll of USD 230 million. Conversely, projections indicate that by 2040, Mexico will confront severe water shortages due to climate change (Cruz Ayala & Megdal, 2020).

However, this issue isn’t confined to the future; currently, approximately 15 million people lack access to clean drinking water in Mexico. The ramifications extend to agriculture, livestock, and water availability in urban areas. Notably, the project site is situated in the heart of Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico, home to 260,000 residents.

Expected outcomes

  • Clear description and conclusions regarding the feasibility of implementing BlueBloqs technology in Mexico, considering spatial, cultural, technological, institutional, and economic aspects.
  • Development of an assessment matrix to identify suitable locations in public spaces for efficient integration of BlueBloqs.
  • Creation of a preliminary spatial design for incorporating BlueBloqs at the Calzada de la República project site in Oaxaca.
  • Formulation of an implementation plan for the pilot project at Calzada de la República in Oaxaca de Juárez, including planning and co-financing arrangements.
  • Strategy for scaling up the solution post-pilot phase.

Innovation in progress series

Calzada del Agua features in the Partners for Water’s ongoing Innovation in Progress series. Throughout this series, Partners for Water closely follows a selection of projects that have received a Partners for Water subsidy, from start to finish. Over the next few years, these projects will take you with them on their journey of testing the feasibility or application of innovative solutions to enhance water security abroad. You’ll be able to gain insights into their processes, collaborations with local partners and their potential solutions; as well as their struggles, challenges and their lessons learned.

Follow the Calzada del Agua journey: