Water rationing for more than 5 million Mexicans due to severe drought

Water rationing for more than 5 million Mexicans due to severe drought

La Boca Dam in Santiago, Nuevo Leon in Mexico. The lack of rain already caused the water level to fall in 40 years in March.AFP photo

The Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, and its main city Monterrey, already declared a state of emergency in February due to persistent drought, along with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius causing surface water to evaporate at lightning speed.

Since 2015, rainfall in this region has been less than expected every year. The rivers have dried up and the reservoirs of the various dams are almost empty.

Previous rationing of tap water, with the electricity shut off one day a week to conserve water, led to a scramble for inflatable pools and water barrels in March, according to local media.

Monterey, where breweries and five soft drink makers, including Coca-Cola, are taking a huge drain on scarce water resources, has pinned its hopes on projects like an aqueduct and a US-Mexico initiative to make seawater drinkable. These projects are still in their infancy at the moment. There is only one costly emergency solution and that is moving water from reservoirs in other states. However, Monterrey is not the only drought-affected city in Mexico: according to the National Water Commission, nearly half of the country suffers from water shortages due to severe drought.

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