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Mexico’s water supply is blocked due to worsening drought and crops at risk. Climate News

The prolonged drought in two-thirds of Mexico is likely to worsen in the coming weeks, and warnings of high temperatures, crop damage and water shortages are expected to emerge, including the densely populated capital Mexico City.

Experts warned that after the temperature reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of northern Mexico (including the main agricultural areas) on June 30, dry crops might not yield enough.

“In some states, irrigation is actually disappearing due to lack of precipitation,” said Rafael Sanchez Bravo, a water resource expert at the Autonomous University of Chapingo, who pointed out that low reservoirs have reduced water delivery to farms.

The drought in Mexico is similar to the drought in the western United States and Canada, where crop yields are threatened and water distribution is implemented under extreme heat. global climate change.

Due to record temperatures, nearly 500 people have died in western Canada in the past week Life-threatening situation For the elderly and disadvantaged groups. In the United States, high temperatures have caused highways to collapse, public transportation has been in trouble, and alternating power outages have occurred.

A report by the US government last month showed that although the rainfall in Mexico as a whole last year was 3% below average, domestic demand increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, which intensified the pressure on water reserves.

A boat is parked on the dry land of the Sanalona Reservoir. Due to the long-term drought in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, the water level of the reservoir is very low. [Jesus Bustamante/Reuters]

Hope to complement Mexico’s Dry reservoir It now depends on the traditional rainy season, officially called the North American monsoon, which is currently underway.

Andreas Prein, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said: “The next three months will be critical to the outcome of this drought.”

Between July and September, most of Mexico’s annual rainfall accounts for 50% to 80% of its annual rainfall.

According to data from scientists and the Mexican Federal Water Commission CONAGUA, water shortages are common in parts of Mexico, but due to extreme high temperatures caused by climate change, water shortages have worsened.

Approximately 70% of Mexico is affected by drought, up from approximately half in December. Approximately one-fifth of the country is experiencing extreme drought, and since 2012, this percentage has been less than 5% each year.

Experts worry that the drought will affect 22 million residents in the Mexico City metropolitan area, which has been flooded by a network of reservoirs. Some areas do not have pipes for drinking water at the best time.

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“I have no doubt that there will be a crisis by 2022,” Sanchez said, and he anticipated social unrest. “The reservoir is completely depleted.”

Sanchez encouraged local authorities to invest in collecting rainwater for household use.

According to CONAGUA data, as of the end of June, Vila Victoria, an important water source in Mexico City, was 77 out of 210 major reservoirs with a capacity of less than 25%. Cracked lake beds can be seen elsewhere around the city.

Images taken by the European Commission satellite show that on June 15 this year, the Victoria Villa was significantly depleted, and on June 30 last year, it was half empty.

At this time last year, there were 56 reservoirs with a capacity of less than 25%. Two years ago, there were only 40.

According to reports, the drought prompted the government to plant seeds with silver iodide in three northern agricultural states—Sinaloa, Sonora, and Chihuahua—in the next three months, with the help of specially equipped Air Force aircraft. Causes rain. Statement from the Ministry of Agriculture.

But this year’s 28 million tons of corn production target is still at risk.

“The situation is pessimistic, and we cannot deny that we are worried,” said a senior Ministry of Agriculture official who asked not to be named.

It may be difficult for scientists to attribute any single event to climate change, But more extreme droughts indicate a rise in global temperatures, which researchers say is caused by greenhouse gas emissions, Plein said.

Heat absorbs moisture from the soil.

“This is a big deal. If you are already in a very dry area like western Mexico, if you raise the temperature, you will lose a lot of water due to evaporation,” Prein added.



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