Mexico droughts are increasingly prolonged, which has caused a deficit in the main dams of the country, so 12 states have had to ration water to the population.
According to the National Water Commission (Conagua), in Mexico City, the supply was reduced from 10 thousand to 9 thousand liters per second, because the dams that supply the Cutzamala System are reported to 75 percent of their storage.
While in the State of Mexico, the picture is similar because 13 municipalities implemented a strategy to ration the liquid.
In Tabasco, the extraction of the Peñitas dam was limited, which has resulted in a shortage of supply in Villahermosa.
In Baja California, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, water for irrigation was reduced.
The supply will be cut in three municipalities in Oaxaca, five in Veracruz, as well as in the states of Querétaro, Hidalgo, and Chiapas.
According to the sessions of the Conagua Basin Councils until September 30, 65 of the 206 most important dams in the country recorded a storage of between 50 and 75 percent. In addition, 21 dams were reported below 50 percent.
For Óscar Monroy Hermosillo, a research professor at the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), he said that it is urgent that local and state governments undertake water plans to adapt to climate change in order to have rainwater collection systems and water reservoirs alternates that allow them to be prepared for droughts.
The water reduction measures implemented in 12 states due to drought are only a reflection that entities and municipalities are not prepared to face a water crisis, warn specialists in the water sector.
Currently, in Mexico there is no recycling of rain through systems that ensure supply to the population and the treatment of sewage is limited because only 10 percent of the plants operate optimally.
For Raúl Pacheco, a CIDE researcher, and water management specialist, he stressed that climate change will continue to prolong periods of drought and, above all, the most important thing is that cities adapt.
“It is important that cities adapt to the lack of water and for this they need to have a plan, but they must invest money and have coordination between environmental agencies and those who are working on climate change, as well as the operating agency and the public registry of ownership, “he said.
Meanwhile, Elena Burns, planning coordinator of the Center for Sustainability at the Autonomous Metropolitan University, said Conagua is also required to review the concessions that authorize companies to use large volumes of water.
In 2018 Mexicos President Peña Nieto decrees water reserves for the environment in about 300 basins in Mexico
This historic decision protects half of the country’s surface water and will benefit 45 million people, 82 Natural Protected Areas and 64 internationally important wetlands or Ramsar sites.
Mexico establishes a global paradigm, by transforming water management into an important biodiversity conservation tool for the benefit of millions of people.
On the occasion of World Environment Day, the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, signed ten decrees that establish water reserves that guarantee the availability of this resource for the population and nature during the next 50 years.
The decrees protect the river basins of the Grijalva-Usumacinta rivers (Chiapas, Tabasco and Campeche) from over-exploitation. Papaloapan (Oaxaca, Puebla and Veracruz); Pánuco (State of Mexico, Querétaro, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Veracruz, Tamaulipas and Nuevo León); Costa Chica de Guerrero and Costa Grande (Guerrero and Oaxaca); San Fernando Soto la Marina (Tamaulipas and Nuevo León); Santiago (Aguascalientes, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Nayarit, San Luis Potosí, and Zacatecas); Actopan-Antigua (Veracruz and Puebla); Jalisco Coast (Colima and Jalisco); and Ameca (Nayarit and Jalisco).
These decrees are added to those issued on the San Pedro Mezquital (2014), Fuerte (2016) and Coatzacoalcos (2018) rivers, which will cover nearly 300 basins of the country’s 756 basins in 20 states and represent the 55% protection of surface water volume nationwide.
The President’s announcement took place in Mexico City, where he was accompanied by the Secretary of the Environment, Rafael Pacchiano; the General Director of the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), Roberto Ramírez de la Parra; the General Director of WWF Mexico, Jorge Rickards; and the President and CEO of WWF United States, Carter Roberts.
“These decrees represent a vision of the future as they pose a sustainable path for these watersheds, which will avoid the serious overexploitation, pollution and scarcity that we live in many other rivers in the country,” said Jorge Rickards, General Director of WWF Mexico.
The reserve is a volume of water in a basin intended exclusively for the protection of nature and human consumption. Its determination was in charge of multidisciplinary teams, coordinated by WWF and CONAGUA, which define the amount of water required by the flora and fauna and the population growth in the next 50 years, respecting the uses of water for current productive activities and those that will develop in the future in a sustainable way.
Water reserves strengthen the national biodiversity strategy, as these decrees protect 82 Natural Protected Areas (PNAs), which comprise 175,230 km2, and 64 internationally important wetlands or Ramsar sites (47,000 km2), in addition to four the last five rivers that flow freely in the country – the Usumacinta, San Pedro Mezquital, Papaloapan and Pánuco-, which ensures the transport of sediments and species, and represents the conservation of the last riverine ecosystems in good condition that connect the mountains with the sea.
In the Usumacinta River, the most abundant and the most biodiverse in Mexico and Central America, located among the 30 largest rivers in the world, the reserve represents more than 90% of the surface water, strengthens 15 ANPs covering 69% of the surface of the basin and two decrees of protection; the first of 1978 that promotes sustainable use of forest resources and another of 2016 that prohibits the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons. Simultaneously, the water reserve protects important productive activities for the inhabitants of the basin, such as aquaculture, temporary agriculture and tourism.
“Water reserves are important because they ensure water for nature and for human consumption. From Cape Town, in South Africa, to California, communities are suffering when the basins dry up, ”said Carter Roberts, President and CEO of WWF United States. “The network of water reserves in Mexico is a role model for other countries that seek to secure their own watersheds before it is too late.”
“They are a great example of the innovative public policies that we require globally: actions in perfect alignment with the Sustainable Development Agenda to transform our world, as well as with the Paris Agreement against climate change,” said Roberto Troya, Director of WWF in Latin America and the Caribbean, who highlighted the relevance for this region and noted that WWF and the IDB already work in Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia to follow the path set by Mexico.
“These new water reserves will transform water management in Mexico, guaranteeing the resource not only for millions of people, but also for the environment. It is a great achievement for the country and for society, rural and indigenous communities, universities, research centers and municipal, state and Federal Government governments, as well as being the best recognition of the work that CONAGUA has been carrying out since 2005 and WWF with the invaluable support of the Gonzalo Río Arronte Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank and other important donors, ”added Rickards.
WWF is one of the largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations in the world. WWF was born in 1961 and is known for the Panda symbol. It has a worldwide network that works in more than 100 countries. Visit www.wwf.org.mx and www.panda.org
About the FGRA
The Gonzalo Río Arronte Foundation was established in January 2000. It is run by a board of trustees and has three fundamental areas in which it provides financing support. Support to health projects, addiction prevention and conservation, treatment and restoration of watersheds and in general activities that promote the best use of water. To learn more about the Foundation, visit: http://www.fgra.org.mx/
Source: la silla roja, conagua, wwf.org.mx
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