Authorities fear that waters once thrived for the surrounding communities could turn into dusty plains.
The drought now covers 85% of Mexico and residents of the country’s central region said on Thursday that the lakes and reservoirs are simply drying up, including the second largest source of fresh water. country.
The mayor of Mexico City said the drought was the worst in 30 years, and the problem could be seen in the reservoirs. store that water from other states to supply the capital.
Some of them, like the Villa Victoria reservoir in the west of the capital, are at one-third of their normal capacity, with a month and a half to go before heavy rain is expected.
Isais Salgado, 60, is trying to refill his water tank truck at Villa Victoria, a task that usually takes just half an hour. On Thursday, he estimated it took 3 and a half hours to pump water into his 10,000-liter (2,641-gallon) tanker.
“The reservoir is drying up,” said Salgado. “If they keep pumping water out, by May the water will completely dry and the fish will die.”
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum says that as the drought worsens, more people tend to water their lawn and garden, exacerbating the problem.
The capital’s nine million residents rely on reservoirs such as Villa Victoria and two other lakes – about 44% capacity together – for a quarter of their water. Much of the rest comes from wells within city limits. But the city’s groundwater levels are falling and leaking pipes are wasting much of what gets into c0ity.
Rogelio Angeles Hernandez, 61, has been fishing in the Villa Victoria waters for the past 30 years. He is not too worried about his fishing, in previous dry seasons, people could carry fish by wheelbarrow when the water level receded.
But tourism in reservoirs, such as the Valle de Bravo further west, has been affected by falling water levels.
In the end, it is capital that will really suffer.
“Fishing too, but the real impact will be on people in Mexico City who will get less water,” said Angeles Hernandez.
Farther west, in the state of Michoacan, the country is at risk of losing its second largest lake, Lake Cuitzeo, where about 70% of the lake bed is currently dry. The main culprit is drought, but residents say that roads built through shallow lakes and divert water for humans also play a role.
Governor Michoacan Silvano Aureoles said many lakes have dried up to the point where coastal communities are now suffering from dust storms. Communities may have to start planting plants on the lake bed to stop them, he said.
In a petition to the government, residents of communities around the lake said only six out of 19 fish species were left in Cuitzeo. The dust storms have caused tens of thousands of respiratory and intestinal infections among local residents, they said.