X is for Xochimilco

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.

X (1)

X is for Xochimilco: March 26, 1850, Xochimilco – ecological scientists and sanitation innovators, Leena Riika Niellä and her partner Roope Richardson are travelling by steam powered boat and canoes through the extensive lakes and canal system of Xochimilco taking water samples. They are accompanied by a senior minister for the Mēxihcan Board of Health, Citlali Aguado who is concerned about the decline in the nation’s sanitation in the Valley of Mēxihca. He wants the Kanatian experts to advise on the best policies to be introduced, based on their expertise in the field and extensive work in other cities across the continent. Their immediate recommendations include reduced exploitation of the natural water resources, controls on waste discarded from ships, and sewage treatment plants based on the reed bed advancement made in recent years. Industrial waste must not be allowed to contaminate the water, soil, or air, but be re-used.



A farmer weeding his crops on one of Xochimilco’s remaining chinampas (farm island) – Photographer – Jflo23 – GNU Free Documentation Licence


In our timelineWikipedia – Xochimilco borough is centred on the formerly independent city of Xochimilco, which was established on what was the southern shore of Lake Xochimilco in the pre-Hispanic period. The name “Xochimilco” comes from Nahuatl and means “flower field.” This referred to the many flowers and other crops that were grown here on artificial land called chinampas since the pre-Hispanic period. Xochimilco is best known for its canals, which are left from what was an extensive lake and canal system that connected most of the settlements of the Valley of Mexico….In 1850, the first steam powered boat travelled through here, connecting Mexico City with Chalco. Steam powered ships remained in Xochimilco waters from then until the 1880s, when they faded from use. Before during and after, Xochimilco continued to make more traditional rafts, canoes and trajineras, pushed along the shallow waters by a pole


…Up through the centuries, the valley lakes continued to shrink but there were still canals that linked Xochimilco to the centre of Mexico City. In the late 19th century, Mexico City had outgrown its traditional water supplies and began to take water from the springs and underground aquifers of Xochimilco. Degradation of the lakes was fastest in the early 20th century when projects such as the Canal del Desagüe were built to further drain the valley. This and excessive aquifer pumping lowered water tables and canals near Mexico City centre dried up and cut off an inexpensive way to get goods to market for Xochimilco. This had a major effect on the area’s economy, along with the effects of the loss of fishing for many local communities.

Wikipedia – Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (December 3, 1842 – March 30, 1911) was an industrial and environmental chemist in the United States during the 19th century. Her pioneering work in sanitary engineering and experimental research in domestic science laid a foundation for the new science of home economics

…In the 1880s, her interests turned toward issues of sanitation, in particular air and water quality. She performed a series of water tests on 40,000 samples of local waters which served as drinking water for their immediate populations… in the state of Massachusetts. As a result, Massachusetts established the first water-quality standards in America, and the first modern sewage treatment plant was created.

Reed beds are becoming the popular and sustainable choice for wastewater and sludge management. Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands is one of the options available in Washington State.


Important Links for the A to Z Challenge – please use these links to find other A to Z Bloggers

Website: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

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Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ

Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

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