The lack of water punishes Mexico

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More than 80% of the country suffers from famine and drought affects half of the territory. The absence of rain accumulates three difficult years, and the situation is increasingly critical

The dry season this year has begun to affect Mexico. The map of the drought has been painted these weeks in not very encouraging colors. More than 80% of the country is being affected by lack of water, according to the latest data reported on March 18 by the National Water Commission (CONAGUA). More than half of the national territory suffers from some type of drought. The States that face the worst conditions are Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and Michoacán. Mexico City has also noticed a drop in the supply of the service in some municipalities. The situation accumulates three difficult years in which it has rained well below what it used to rain. On the eve of what is expected to be a very critical year, the authorities have begun to look for strategies to deal with the problem.

The north is one of the areas most affected by the shortage. The authorities of Nuevo León submitted a request to the federal government two weeks ago to decree an emergency in the state. The latest official data there indicate that at least four municipalities suffer from a situation of extreme drought, while the rest of the cities are experiencing severe or moderate drought. This week groups of activists demonstrated to request a response from the Government of Samuel García to the water crisis, after the entity went through a terrible drought in 2022.

In Tamaulipas, the CONAGUA reported the extreme situation of lack of water in 10 municipalities. The entity faces the worst drought it has experienced in 40 years. Several dams in that state are at worrisome lows. According to the latest data from the National Water Information System, the Vicente Guerrero dam, which supplies a large part of the State and is one of the largest in the country, has 15% of its total capacity. Or the Pedro Mendez dam, which is at 17%.

In Michoacán the authorities registered an extreme drought in 15 cities or towns. This same week, the Secretary of the Interior, Adán Augusto López, asked the governors for concrete actions to combat the lack of water. The official also claimed that there are several basins in the country that have significant flows, but cannot be used for consumption due to high levels of contamination.

Mexico City experienced a very difficult season in terms of water service in 2022. And 2023 doesn’t seem to fall too far from that. The capital faces the problem of low reserve levels in the Cutzamala System, which supplies 25% of the metropolitan area. According to the data recorded this Thursday by CONAGUA, the dams are currently 23% below historical storage. “We have been dragging a drought that has affected us for three years now, but this year we can see that we are already in very critical conditions,” Germán Martínez Santoyo, director of CONAGUA, pointed out this week. “The three dams in total are adding a volume of about 370 million cubic meters, this means less than 50%.”

In search of a solution to face the dry season, the Claudia Sheinbaum Administration announced that starting next week the Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA) will be carrying out a process called “cloud bombardment” in the Valley Mexico, where the Cutzamala system dams are located. The Mexican Army uses a plane to launch chemical agents into the air and they cause rain. It is a technique that they have already used in the previous two years, given the drought that overwhelmed the country.

The Government of Mexico City also reported that they asked 10 companies and organizations to “donate a portion of their concession” of water “to be able to supply the municipalities that have less.” This will generate an additional 244 liters per second entering the system starting next week. Among the companies that agreed are the National Autonomous University of Mexico and Grupo Modelo. “It is a very important volume that will help, mainly, the municipalities that have less water, because even when they are in other places, today we have a better chance of distributing the water”, said the Head of Government.

Source: El Pais