Video game developed to bring awareness to Mexico’s water crisis

Mexico has faced water and sanitation issues since the 1980s, but it has grown into a crisis in recent years. 

Linked here is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style game that allows players to develop an awareness of these issues. In the first half of 2021, the country experienced an average precipitation deficit of  20%. 

Things worsened in 2022 as many states experienced rainfall shortages exceeding 90% of the expected levels. This shortage has magnified the problem, as aquifers have been overused and reservoirs have been depleted. 73 million people, more than half of the country’s population, lack access to a reliable water supply. 

Additionally, an estimated 55 million individuals do not have access to proper sanitation facilities in their own homes. Although there has been some progress made throughout the years to alleviate this nationwide crisis, it has been slow and inconsistent due to the government’s unwillingness for proper investments. As a result of the scarcity, Mexico has become the nation with the highest per capita consumption of bottled water

The country’s diverse geography means each region faces its own, unique set of problems. For instance, the north is a naturally drier environment with much lower precipitation rates than the south. Rainfall is no issue in these southern regions, but the lack of proper infrastructure is. 

This is partially because of how costly it can be to fund maintenance of existing water systems or establishment of new ones to provide for the growing population. These aging pipelines pollute water passing through.

This has become a prominent issue in Tijuana.

The city is overwhelmed with unsafe sewage water that is far from drinkable. The rural parts of Mexico are neglected in comparison to the urban areas. Many residents have had to rely on open sources of water, which are usually unsafe for consumption.

In urban areas like Monterrey, the rapid population growth has led to the exhaustion of aquifers. As more expansion is pursued, more roads and sidewalks are built. The pavement prevents the natural replenishment of these aquifers, only intensifying the problem for residents.

Experts have declared that the Monterrey Metropolitan Area is exceptionally vulnerable to periods of extremely low precipitation and water scarcity. Climate predictions indicate a warmer future for this region. With the drier climate come heightened climate threats. 

The linked “Choose Your Own Adventure” style game comes is written in the perspective of a low-middle class family.  It should serve as a tool for encouraging users to learn more on their own. The game guides the player through a typical day and provides some added context in blurbs. 

One of the things that inspired the topic choice was the desire to offer a different point of view and raise awareness. A vast majority of people living in the U.S. do not have to worry about their water supply, so I hope that my game not only ignites a newfound appreciation but also inspires users to be more conscious of their water usage.

Damian Arroyo-Fuentes is a second year student at Florida International University double-majoring in Digital Communications + Media and Information Technology. He enjoys listening to podcasts, discovering new music, and broadening his knowledge on the design process. Damian aspires to break into the tech field and work as a front-end developer, but is ultimately driven to become involved in Product Management.