Mexico: Drought Gets Severe As Reservoirs Dry Up

133 views | 9:34am on Friday 7th May 2021

85% of Mexico is now being affected by drought conditions. Residents in the central region said that the country’s critical drought level is because lakes and reservoirs are drying up.

According to the mayor of Mexico City, the drought was the worst recorded within 30 years, and problems can be found in reservoirs from other states to supply the capital.

Some of them are at one-third of their normal capacity, with any rain expected to come in a month and a half. 

Common Extreme Weather Conditions

Severe drought in Mexico because lakes dry up

Previously, filling a water tank truck takes a man just half an hour at Villa Victoria. However, it is estimated to take him now 3 1/2 hours to pump water into his 10,000-liter tanker.

The reservoir is drying up. If people keep pumping water out, it will be completely dry by May.

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Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said that as the drought reaches warning levels, more people tend to water their lawns and gardens, which worsens the situation.

The capital's 9 million inhabitants rely on reservoirs like Villa Victoria and two others — which together are at about 44% capacity — for a quarter of their water; most of the rest comes from wells within city limits. But the city’s own water table is dropping and leaky pipes waste much of what is brought into the city.

Common Extreme Weather Conditions

Mexico: Drought Gets Severe As Reservoirs Dry Up

The capital's 9 million residents rely on reservoirs like Villa Victoria and two other lakes - about 44% of their capacity together - for a quarter of their water; much of the rest comes from wells within city limits. But the city's groundwater levels are falling and leaky pipes will waste most of what is brought to the city.

A 61-year-old man who has been fishing in the waters of Villa Victoria for 30 years is not too worried about his own catch; In the previous dry seasons, people could carry fish by wheelbarrow when the water level receded. 

But falling water levels have hit tourism at reservoirs, like Valle de Bravo further to the west. The capital that is really going to suffer.

Michoacan is at risk of losing its second largest lake, Lake Cuitzeo, where about 70% of the lake bed has now dried up. The main culprit is drought, but villagers say the roads built across shallow lakes and divert water for humans also play a role.

Governor Michoacan Silvano Aureoles said many lakes have dried up to the point that coastal residents are now suffering from dust storms. They may even have to start planting plants on the lake bed to stop them.

In a petition to the government, residents of communities around the lake said that only 6 out of 19 fish species were left in Cuitzeo. 

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