About 80% of the territory of Mexico suffers some degree of drought

(CNN Spanish) — The drought that plagues Mexico extends through a large part of the territory to different degrees. An intense heat wave and lack of rain in recent months have aggravated the situation that has already reached the Mexican countryside and has caused water shortages and theft in some states in the north and northwest of the country.

About 80% of the territory suffers some degree of drought, as reflected until April 30 by the Monitor of the National Water Commission (Conagua), the agency that monitors this phenomenon in Mexico.

The high temperatures do not let up and this, combined with the lack of rain, aggravates the situation of thirst in the country. Conagua reported that the thermometer reaches between 40 and 45 degrees Celsius in 20 of the 32 states. Meanwhile, there is a rainfall deficit close to 23% compared the historical national figure for this same period, according to the agency.

NASA: almost 85% of Mexico is experiencing an intense drought 1:11

The drought hits the northern and northwestern states with greater force: Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo León and Durango are located between intense orange, passing through red and brown within the map that reflects the degree of dryness that the country is experiencing.

“May [era] a rainy season, however here in recent days there has been a significant drought, the climate has become very dry and we are going to wait for heat strokes with high temperatures,” José Miguel Martínez, director of Protection, told CNN. Civil of Durango.

Drought hits the Mexican countryside

The pantheon that the drought in Mexico exposed 2:44

The drought will again affect agricultural production, which already suffers from the lack of rain it faced in 2021 when the country was experiencing “one of the most severe and extended droughts in decades.”

“If you go to the field and look at the corn that are already a good size, they are very thirsty and that doesn’t allow the corn to grow enough and therefore we are going to have losses,” he told CNN. Margarito Favela González, who is part of the surveillance of an irrigation module in the field.

water shortage

The drought that Mexico is going through does not only affect rural areas. The water scarcity crisis has forced the Nuevo León state government to limit water supply to residents of the Monterrey metropolitan area.

Every day, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the pressure of drinking water is reduced in several areas of the city, an additional measure that is part of the “Water for All” plan implemented by the authorities to deal with the crisis since last March.

But the formula drought, heat and less rain not only causes shortages. In Chihuahua —which has extreme to exceptional droughts— this natural resource is stolen. According to Alan Falomir, director of the Central State Water Board, they have detected theft of drinking water.

drought mexico

View of the La Boca dam in Santiago, Nuevo León state, Mexico during World Water Day on March 22, 2022. The lack of rain has reduced the dam’s capacity to 10%, the lowest in the last 40 years. (JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP via Getty Images)

“Drinking water is being used for agricultural irrigation, in other cases for entertainment farms, swimming pools, we even detected the commercialization of water,” he explained to CNN.

Meanwhile, in states like Durango —which has severe droughts, according to the Conagua monitor— citizens have to cover their basic needs by buying purified water or bringing it from natural sources.

“There are days when we can’t even bathe ourselves, sometimes we have the difficulty of drinking water from the jugs or bathing directly from the jugs because the community is short of water,” he tells CNN. Jorge Esparza, a Durango student affected by the drought.

According to the Institute of Astronomy and Meteorology of the University of Guadalajara, the phenomenon of La Niña —still present in May— brings with it variations in temperature that produce changes in the circulation of the ocean and the atmosphere, which favors the dry environment in the country. .

With information from Belén Zapata

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