Water Recovery in Xochimilco, Mexico


Through the collaboration agreement with the Center for Research and Advanced Studies from the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAY), the PhD student Nury Gineth Infante is making a 6-month research stay at the GAIA laboratory, from the UNESCO Chair on Sustainability of the UPC.


The student conducts a research stage from October 1, 2018 to May 15, 2019, under the direction of Dr. Refugio Rodríguez Vázquez, Researcher and Pioneer of Bioremediation Technologies for the improvement of water quality and land in Mexico, from the Dept. of Biotechnology and Bioengineering in the CINVESTAY Xénobiotics Lab and the Sanitary and Environmental Microbiology group from the UNESCO Chair on Sustainability.



The objective of the stay is to work on the optimization of wastewater treatment in the Chinampera area of Xochimilco, through natural technologies. The use of nature-based solutions (NBS) nowadays becomes a priority strategy for the EU.


Natural systems or nature solutions based seek to reduce the presence of pollutants in the environment, maintaining the conservation of endemic species and ecosystems, characteristic of the Chinampera zone.

PhD student Nury Gineth is working on the use of natural coagulants, obtained from the seeds of Moringa oleifera. In addition to their effect as coagulants, the seeds that are adsorbed ("functionalized") in filter materials have an inhibiting effect on pathogenic microorganisms.


The final objective of the work is to have an alternative to treat water through a natural and economic system, and reduce fecal contamination in waters used for agriculture. This system would work in the disinfection of effluents from treatment wetlands and biofilters, allowing reuse for agriculture.