April 24, 2024

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One of the world's most densely populated cities is about to run out of water, with many spending 'days if not weeks' without it.

One of the world's most densely populated cities is about to run out of water, with many spending 'days if not weeks' without it.

Mexico City is home to about 22 million people. But for months, the sprawling city has been suffering from dwindling water supplies – and now, one of the world's most populous cities is on the verge of “Day Zero” when it will no longer have enough water to supply residents.

Citing the Valley of Mexico Water Basin Organization, local outlet La Razón de México reported last week that officials fear this “Zero day“ — when the Cotzamala system will no longer have enough water for residents — could come on June 26 and last until September. Locals are already struggling to get enough water, with many living “days, if not weeks, without running water in Their homes said Enrique Acevedo, a contributor to CBS News.

“There was water scarcity and water management in the city that had not been seen in at least a decade,” he said. “Gyms here in Mexico City and other public parks had to start limiting the number of guests showering and using their facilities because too many people were tapping into their memberships to use the water in those facilities.”

Among the rules implemented to try to conserve water are “cars are no longer washed,” local resident Juan Ortega told Reuters in January.

He said: “The garden and grass are never irrigated, only the plants so that they do not die.” “We will start reusing water from washing machines for irrigation purposes.”

A woman fills a bucket with bottled water in a housing unit in the Las Piñas neighborhood of Iztapalapa on February 27, 2024 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images

Arturo Gracia, who runs a café in the area, said his company has to pay for a water truck to provide water for toilets and other necessities.

“It affects us a lot,” he said. “And I don't think we're alone. This is happening in several neighborhoods.”

These problems were exacerbated as Mexico City faced high temperatures last week. Mexico City water system SACMEX On Feb. 27, he said temperatures recorded nearly 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures this week are expected to reach nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit with minimal cloud coverage, according to engadget. Weather channel.

SACMEX director Rafael Carmona told Reuters this was an “unprecedented situation” with lack of rain being a major factor. He pointed out that rainfall in the region has decreased over the past four to five years, which has led to a decrease in rain reserves in local dams. He said the general lack of water in supply systems, coupled with a rising population, has created “something we have not seen during this administration, nor in previous administrations.”

Much of Mexico is experiencing some form of drought, with many areas experiencing the highest levels of “extreme” and “exceptional” drought, according to the country's report. Drought monitor. in October, 75% of the country The Associated Press reported that the country was suffering from drought, while the country's rainy season only begins around May.

Women wash clothes on the dry banks of the Villa Victoria Dam, which reached 30.5 percent of capacity on February 28, 2024 in Villa Victoria, Mexico.

/Getty Images

In addition to drought, Acevedo said “water mismanagement” was also a major contributor to the problem.

He added: “We have a lot of underwater leaks… Some numbers say that up to 40% of the city's wasted water comes from underground leaks. There are also some residential leaks.”

Several leaks It was reported by SACMEX at the beginning of February, which the supplier said it was working to correct. Many of these leaks “resulted from variations in hydraulic network pressures,” SACMEX said.

However, not everyone believes that “Day Zero” will come soon. Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador said the government would be able to increase water supplies enough to avoid such an event this year, La Razon de México newspaper reported. Other researchers believe this is something that could happen in the coming years.

“It's not that we have Day Zero coming, but we certainly haven't seen things as bad as they are now in a while,” Acevedo said.

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