Is Mexico running out of water?

  • Post comments:0 Comments
  • Reading time:3 mins read
  • Post author:

Mexico City, a bustling metropolis with a population of nearly 22 million, is grappling with a looming water crisis exacerbated by a myriad of factors, including geographical constraints, deteriorating infrastructure, and urban sprawl, all exacerbated by the effects of climate change.

Is Mexico running out of water?

  1. Extended Dry Spells: Prolonged periods of low rainfall, frequent dry spells, and rising temperatures have strained the city’s water system, prompting authorities to impose stringent restrictions on water extraction from reservoirs.
  2. Warning Signs: Despite official assurances downplaying the severity of the situation, experts, including atmospheric scientist Christian Domínguez Sarmiento from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), warn of a potential “day zero” scenario within months, as critical water shortages afflict numerous neighborhoods.
  3. Historical Challenges: Built on a high-altitude lake bed, Mexico City’s historical development has led to sinking due to clay-rich soil, seismic vulnerabilities, and susceptibility to climate change, with wetlands and rivers being replaced by concrete, exacerbating flooding and drought.
  4. Water Sources: Approximately 60% of the city’s water is drawn from over-exploited underground aquifers, contributing to a subsidence rate of around 20 inches per year, while inefficient pumping and distribution systems result in significant losses, with the Cutzamala water system operating at historic lows.
  5. Drought Conditions: Recent reports indicate that around 60% of Mexico is experiencing moderate to severe drought, with nearly 90% of Mexico City facing extreme drought conditions, further exacerbated by natural climate variability such as La Niña and El Niño.
  6. Impending Crisis: Despite conflicting statements, experts warn of the possibility of reaching “day zero,” where water levels in the Cutzamala system could become insufficient to meet the city’s needs, emphasizing the urgent need for prompt action to avert a potential disaster.

Water Sources in Mexico

Water SourcesUnderground aquifers (60%)
InfrastructureCutzamala water system
Drought ConditionsExtreme in 90% of the city
Subsidence RateApproximately 20 inches/year
Is Mexico running out of water?

The looming water crisis in Mexico City underscores the urgent need for proactive measures to address infrastructure challenges, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and ensure sustainable water management practices to secure the city’s future water supply.

Leave a Reply