Nearshore Americas

Mexico City in Crisis: Severe Water Shortages Threaten Mexican Capital

The water crisis in Mexico City is so severe that some neighborhoods might run out of water by the end of June.

Meixco City’s Cutzamala Water System, which supplies about 30% of the metropolis’ water from neighboring basins, is currently operating at a critically low capacity of just 30%, according to local media reports.

Though water shortages are felt all over the city, the situation has reached a critical point mainly in low-income municipalities, such as Iztapalapa, where residents have for years endured inconsistent access to water. Trickles and even complete outages that last for days or even weeks are not uncommon in Mexico City’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Mexico City is currently governed by Morena, the political project of current Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). With elections approaching in the city, the ruling party will feel a lot of pressure to at the very least ease the crisis.

The city’s supply of groundwater has been shrinking for years now, thanks in great part to the expansion of the urban sprawl.

To make matters more complicated, Mexico City is one of Latin America’s most populated cities. The metropolis includes not only the capital city itself, but surrounding municipalities from the State of Mexico. The whole urban area (known as The Valley of Mexico) saw its population increase from 13 million in 1994 to 23 million by 2022.

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Climate change adds another layer of peril to the situation. On April 15, Mexico City registered its hottest day on record, this amid a historic drought.

Rainfall has become less frequent in Mexico’s capital. When rain does come, however, it tends to fall in intense bursts that don’t replenish groundwater reserves effectively.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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