Home Headlines Is the Mexico City water crisis nearing ‘day zero’?

Is the Mexico City water crisis nearing ‘day zero’?

by Yucatan Times
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water drop

Mexico City, one of the world’s largest and most densely populated cities, could be on the verge of running out of water, and prolonged drought and above-average temperatures are hastening the problem, Mexican authorities have said.

In recent days, some Mexico City residents have protested in the streets to raise awareness of the shortages where, according to local authorities, water levels are at their lowest levels in recorded history.

Protesters have taken their frustrations to the National Water Commission in Acambay, which sits in the State of Mexico, and in the Azcapotzalco municipality in Mexico City, where angry residents blocked vital roads to draw attention to the lack of water.

Water is a centuries-old issue in Mexico City. When the Spaniards settled it in the 16th century, they saw the abundance of water as an impediment to growth and so razed many of the old buildings, drained the lake bed that lies beneath Mexico City, filled in canals and cut down forests.

They saw “water as an enemy to overcome for the city to thrive,” said Jose Alfredo Ramirez, an architect and co-director of Groundlab, a design and policy research organization.

Fast forward to 2024 and recent water shortages caused by higher-than-normal temperatures and prolonged drought have frightened and angered residents, some of whom say they are without water at their tap for months at a time.

Alejandro Gomez, who lives in Tlalpan, a tiny and picturesque district of Mexico City with cobblestone streets, a tiny town square dotted with trees, shops and small restaurants, said he gets a trickle of water for a few hours at a time, barely enough to fill a couple of buckets. Then, the tap will be completely dry for many days. His family exists on the water he can buy and store.

They capture their dirty bathwater to flush the toilet. “We need water. It’s essential for everything,” Gomez said. The weather and drought are making life even harder, he said. “Right now, we are getting this hot weather. It’s even worse, things are more complicated.”

Most recently, authorities have introduced significant restrictions on the water pumped from aquifers in an attempt to conserve.


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