“Game Changer” Enrique Lomnitz, Helping Mexico City’s Water Shortage

Game Changer

Almost 40-percent of the households in Mexico City have no access to clean water at home. To quench the thirst of the city’s 20 million residents, the government plans to invest billions to solve the problem. One man has started a project he believes will help.

“Game Changer” Enrique Lomnitz, helping Mexico City\'s water shortage

“Game Changer” Enrique Lomnitz, helping Mexico City\'s water shortage

Almost 40-percent of the households in Mexico City have no access to clean water at home. To quench the thirst of the city's 20 million residents, the government plans to invest billions to solve the problem. One man has started a project he believes will help.
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This special preview of a piece from this weekend’s episode of America’s Now, shows the stories of Enrique Lomnitz. He’s an industrial designer and this week’s Game Changer

“Everybody is taking the water crisis seriously I think to a certain degree…But I think the problem is not being tackled very creatively.”

“My name is Enrique Lomnitz, I’m 31 years and I’m the founder of Isla Urbana.”

“Isla Urbana is a project dedicated to promote and push rain water harvesting forward in Mexico.

Rain water harvesting, It’s actually quite a simple thing what we do is the rain water that falls on the roof of the house we channel it to a cistern and we pass through very simple process that first flushes the water and filters it.

Enrique Lomnitz says: “The current system in Mexico right now depends on pumping gigantic amounts of water out of the ground and pumping gigantic amounts from a watershed that’s outside of Mexico City. It has to be pumped a full kilometer uphill and put into the city.”

He asks: “Why are we pumping water from over here when we have water falling on us from the sky for free?” He believes, in huge abundance, people just haven’t known until now how to take advantage of that.

Enrique Lomnitz tells the reporter: “Mostly if you go to communities where there was water problems, people are looking for solutions and people are open to ideas.”

He thinks when people adopt a rain water harvesting system, they also get empowered in a very literal way. They are less dependent on something.

“I think it’s the most rewarding job in the world. The moment where you go in a community and you actually can see that you are transforming a situation and like there is this sense of need that is starting to be relieved with water” says Enrique Lomnitz.

“We want as many people as possible to know about rain water harvesting systems, to know how to design the system, to be able to do it well. So all of the work that we develop and all the research that we accumulate in development and stuff like that, we share it right away in our courses, it’s like super open source because we need more people to do it.”

When talking about the goals, Enrique Lomnitz says : “Our ideal, our goal in 5 years or 10 years, ideally there is dozens of rain water harvesting companies in Mexico that are offering rain water harvesting systems to different kind of people.”

“It’s not going to fix everything but I think it could fix more that we sometimes think.”