Drought in Mexico: 16 states without water in all their municipalities


The states that are not affected by drought in Mexico in 2023 are Tabasco and Yucatán, the rest face a lack of rain.

The dry season in Mexico has already begun and according to data from the National Meteorological Service, as of March 15, 74.58% of the country already has some dry condition. At the same time, in 16 entities there is a situation of drought in 100% of their municipalities.

For three years, the country has been facing meteorological conditions that have aggravated the lack of water, including, in July 2022, the Ministry of the Environment published in the Official Gazette of the Federation the Agreement for the initiation of an emergency of severe, extreme, or Exceptional in basins, since more than 23% of the country’s municipalities had a lack of rain.

The first months of 2023 are not encouraging and to this is added that the hot season is just beginning.

Drought in Mexico 2023: the states with less water

According to the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), drought occurs when there is below-average rainfall for several months and years, which is different from scarcity, which refers to the lack of sufficient water to meet the demand of a locality.

In this regard, of the 32 states, only three (Campeche, Tabasco and Yucatán) have a normal precipitation percentage, which is why they do not fall within the drought parameters.

However, as of March 1, the remaining 28 are below average. The most alarming cases are in Colima, Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Nayarit, Zacatecas, Durango, Baja California Sur, Michoacán and Sinaloa.

“A large part of the Mexican Republic has moderate to severe drought and mainly the states of the center, west, south, north and northeast of the country. This moderate drought is characterized by damage to crops and pastures, there is a high risk of forest fires, and there are low levels in rivers, streams, reservoirs, dams, and any other body of water,” explains Rafael Trejo, deputy manager of weather forecasting at the National Water Commission.

Currently, of the 32 states in the country, 16 have 100% of their territory affected, although the impact ranges from abnormally dry to moderately dry in the different municipalities. These are:








Mexico state



Nuevo Leon


San Luis Potosi




On the other hand, the entities that do not present affectations are Tabasco and Yucatán; followed by Campeche and Quintana Roo, with a low abnormally dry percentage, because in February there were above-average rains and cold fronts, details the CONAGUA Drought Monitor.

Why every year there is drought in the country?

According to Rafael Trejo, deputy manager of Meteorological Forecasting, the rainy season in the country begins on May 15 and ends on November 30. Throughout this period, the rains are caused by the passage of tropical waves, formation of tropical cyclones. and the northwestern states of the country are affected by the Mexican rainy season.

However, he explains, after November the frontal systems begin to descend with winter storms and cold fronts and these do not leave abundant rains, only in the southeast of the country.

“Then, as of November, the levels of drought begin to appear because we no longer have tropical systems that leave rain; Another important thing is that in March, April and May are the months in which it rains less climatologically, that is why it is considered the dry season, they are normal conditions”.

Trejo assured that this year will be very similar to 2022, since a year ago the levels of drought were very similar to those of now, in such a way that they can be considered as “normal conditions”, whose impact may be reduced with the summer rains.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the La Niña phenomenon in the central part of the Equatorial Pacific is one of the causes of the drought and it is forecast that after three extremely dry years due to its effects , in the coming months there could be relief with the entry of the El Niño phenomenon.

“Fortunately, the La Niña phenomenon will end, we will have a period with normal conditions to later start the El Niño phenomenon, which, as mentioned, will rain from summer to December. These conditions will reduce the drought in a large part of the national territory during this and next year, although we must be aware of the impacts of cyclones and hurricanes,” explains Trejo.

Volume of dams in Mexico

The 210 main dams in Mexico, with the capacity to store 92% of the country’s reservoir water, began the year 2023 with a deficit of 6%, compared to the historical average.

Of the total, 16 started the year 100% filled; 88 between 75% and 99% storage; 50 are between 50% and 74% and 56 have less than 50% storage, reported the General Technical Subdirectorate of CONAGUA.

Only in the Metropolitan Zone, the dams that make up the Cutzamala System have a deficit of 9% compared to last year, in addition to the fact that the Aguas del Valle de México Basin Organization determined that it is at the lowest levels in its history .

As of March 20, the 10 dams with the lowest levels in Mexico are:

“La Llave” in Querétaro with a filling of 0.00%

“Copándaro” in Lerma Santiago Michoacán with 0.00%

“Gonzalo N. Santos, El Peaje” in San Luis Potosí with a filling of 0.01%

San Ildefonso “Tepozán” in Querétaro with 1%

“Constitution of 1917” in Querétaro with 3%

“El Molino” in the State of Mexico with 4%

“Abelardo Rodríguez” in Hermosillo, Sonora with 4%

“Tres Mezquites” in Los Angeles, Michoacán with 7%

“La Venta” in Querétaro with 7.50%

“Cuauhtémoc” in Sonora with 8.78%

“Drought brings scarcity, that is why we invite the population to save water, it will be three months where it will not rain, the dams will lower their levels and then the rainy season will begin, but even with that, If we don’t know how to manage water, if we don’t take care of it and save at home, next year we could have dry conditions again,” says Conagua’s deputy manager of Meteorological Forecasting.

Source: Animal Politico