Mexico City Nearly Out Of Drinking Water

April 11, 2024

Mexico City Nearly Out Of Drinking Water

Source: KLa Systems


One of the largest cities in the world, Mexico City, is facing a severe water crisis due to drought conditions exacerbated by climate change and infrastructure problems. Scientists are now concerned the region could hit a “day zero” scenario, where water supplies completely run out.

The Cutzamala system, which supplies water to millions in the Valley of Mexico, has hit historic lows due to low rainfall. As of November 2023, rainfall levels have been 44% of what was expected.

While the Mexican government has pledged to improve water supply and take measures like excavating wells, residents are already experiencing water shortages, with protests erupting in some areas.

Mexico City is home to 21 million people, making it the sixth largest city in the world. Residents painted a bleak picture of their lives, recycling used bathwater to flush toilets and relying on bottled water for drinking. Many have claimed to have had no running water for months, while others say what little water does come from the taps has a foul odor and is completely unusable, let alone drinkable.

Even worse, the inability to replenish aquifers is causing the city to rapidly sink –– the city’s elevation has decreased 20 inches per year since 1950. In addition to the occasional earthquake, this has been causing ongoing damage to infrastructure, including the water distribution network, which has been further exacerbating the water crisis. NPR reports that about 40% of the water pumped to the city gets lost through leaks.

"We're extracting water at twice the speed that the aquifer replenishes. This is causing damages to infrastructure, impacts on the water system and ground subsidence," Jorge Alberto Arriaga, the coordinator of the water network for the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

The crisis is attributed to a combination of factors. Climate change has resulted in increasingly frequent heat waves, as well as a 25% decrease in precipitation. Changes in El Niño patterns have also raised temperatures across Latin America.

The city’s urban development is also contributing to the problem. During the rainy seasons, the city is prone to flooding as the concrete prevents water from soaking into the ground and replenishing the aquifers. At present, there are few urban or residential water catchment systems that could be used to harvest water.

With the rainy season still months away, the Mexican government has implemented conservation plans and asked residents not to use water for washing cars or sidewalks. It has also vowed to drill more wells but has otherwise downplayed the idea of “day zero”, calling it fake news.

Source :https://www.wateronline.com/doc/mexico-city-nearly-out-of-drinking-water-0001?mkt_tok=MDMxLVlJWS01MjkAAAGTjQtvw_dCcmDgYxHwbL9MBNL1goO6_v3fs9yGRiZD1M6D6bjpCKi5phGGsWgYySKvyVRekKd7tGI2VcsAvedFVHx1l7cvS2Rftz6zQA

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