Developing Solutions for Urban Flooding in Mexico

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As a resident of Toluca, Mexico, Juan Manuel Becerril Lara knows firsthand the damage floods cause in communities.

Mexico’s geographical location makes the country highly vulnerable to tropical cyclones in both Pacific and Atlantic basins.

These experiences led Juan to study urban hydrology, which he now teaches at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

To further his development in the field, Juan joined the IWRM course: Use of tools for the analysis and prevention of floods in urban areas, organized by The Mexican Network of Water Resources (REMERH).

Following the course, Juan was inspired to do his doctoral studies to develop new tools towards floo

“I was also able to detect priorities and specific needs in the field. The activity also allowed me to visualize, analyze and share ideas with the other course participants and with the facilitators, each of them endowed with different skills, which enriched my pedagogical abilities.”

As a trainer of trainers and professionals, Juan also understood the value of passing his newly-acquired knowledge to his students.

“Now, I can transmit the knowledge acquired to new generations of with the certainty that the ideas transmitted are applicable to real needs since, as well as for me, they were enriching perhaps also for them (my students).”

He has also been instrumental in the development of new technologies and methodologies

Two of Juan’s students have directly benefited from this knowledge transmission.

Abel Santiago Fuentes, a civil engineer in San Felipe del Progreso, Mexico was able to access hydroinformatics software for urban storm drainage created by Juan and his fellow researches at UAEM during his course there.

“Free software for stormwater’s design doesn’t exist so I’m thankful of accessing to the tool developed by the MCA Juan Manuel Becerril Lara. With the knowledge acquired, it has been possible for me to develop the preliminary project for the urban pluvial drainage of the town of San Felipe del Progreso to provide a solution to the flooding problems of the site.”

Cuban Hydraulic Engineer, Alfredo Suarez Ortega, who designed small rainwater networks by doing calculations by hand in spreadsheets, lamented the ineffectiveness of that method when the challenges were larger.

“[Juan] instructed me on the use of hydroinformatic methodologies and tools to complete the required analysis. The new knowledges acquired will be very helpful in my professional life; they allow me to provide new and better solutions related to urban storm drainage whether in Mexico, Cuba or any other part of the world where I work.”