26 January 2009

Mexico Prepares to Increase Water Rationing

Latin America Herald Tribue, January 26,2009

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican authorities warned that over the past few weeks the water level in reservoirs of the Cutzamala system have dropped from 63 percent of capacity to 59 percent, which could require further rationing of the water supply for the Valley of Mexico, site of the nation's capital.

"Today's level is at 58.8 percent of total capacity, and at the beginning of the year we were still saying it was at between 62 and 63 percent...the problem we're facing is really serious," the director general of the National Water Commission for the Mexico City valley area, Jorge Efren Villalon, told Efe.

The official led a group of reporters on an excursion to show them the true situation at the Valle de Bravo reservoir, one of seven in the Cutzamala system that supplies Mexico City.

He said that for now the program consists of reducing the water supply three days a month until May, affecting some 5.5 million inhabitants of several areas of Mexico City and municipalities of the Valley of Mexico due to the drop in reservoir levels.

"These are the most immediate measures," because the scarcity "of water in the reservoirs is even more serious. They are many millions of cubic meters below the normal average level for this time of year," Villalon said.

Villalon told Efe that from Jan. 31 the water supply will be cut back for the inhabitants of the 10 boroughs and 13 municipalities that receive water from the reservoirs of the Cutzamala system, which are below 60 percent of capacity.

He said that the goal will be to reduce by 50 percent the water supply to some areas of Mexico City and Mexico state for three days a month until May, when the rainy season begins.

He said that the Cutzamala system supplies 20 percent of the water for the Valley of Mexico, but because of overdevelopment, demographic growth that will increase 23 percent over the next five years, and global warming, the situation is bound to get worse.

"The risk is that we're going to find ourselves without a normal supply and we'll continuously need programmed cutbacks," he warned.

The official said that a rate increase is needed urgently so that people will start appreciating their water and being careful about how they use it.

Authorities will use the time of cutbacks in the water supply to make reparations to one of Cutzamala's two central pipelines.

Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2008 © All rights reserved

Read more... Sphere: Related Content

No comments: