The freshwater systems located within the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City (Mexico City and the State of Mexico) are depleted. La Piedad Lagoon is recognized as a critical water resource as it serves as a run-off reservoir during the rainy season. However, the Lagoon is highly contaminated by untreated wastewater discharge due to disorderly and unplanned urban development. Inadequate sanitation has caused significant biodiversity loss and negatively impacted the population's health. Climate change models estimate that surface water availability could be reduced by over 30% in the short term, increasing the risk of a regional water crisis. This complex situation is urgent and demands the ecological restoration of La Piedad Lagoon as it provides an alternative source of water for Mexico City. Here, the intervention and efforts currently performed to rescue La Piedad Lagoon are described, involving its transformation and analysis of the environmental conditions of the area, land uses and ownership, as well as available infrastructure. Finally, it examines key environmental parameters for the construction of wetlands in the Lagoon. The removal contamination capacities of Eichhornia crassipes and Lemna minor, two aquatic plants in the area, were assessed. The lessons learned from this intervention can provide valuable lessons.
The article shares the lessons learned from the intervention for the ecological recovery of the La Piedad Lagoon. It highlights the process of environmental degradation resulting from inadequate water management practices, in addition to standing out the environmental, social, and economic considerations, in a complex context, that must be addressed to ensure the long-term success of this intervention.