Friday, July 02, 2021

Mexico water supply buckles on worsening drought, crops at risk | Al Jazeera

A long-term drought that has hit two-thirds of Mexico

A long-term drought that has hit two-thirds of Mexico is likely to worsen in coming weeks with forecasts of high temperatures and warnings of crop damage and water supply shortages on the horizon, including in the populous capital of Mexico City.

Experts are sounding the alarm that parched crops could under-produce after temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius (104F) on June 30 in some parts of northern Mexico, including key farming areas.

“In some states, irrigation is practically disappearing due to lack of precipitation,” said Rafael Sanchez Bravo, a water expert at Chapingo Autonomous University, noting low reservoirs and reduced water transfers to farms.

Mexico’s drought parallels that of the western United States and Canada, where crop yields are threatened and water rationing has been imposed amid extreme heat, a consequence of worldwide climate change.

Nearly 500 people died in western Canada in the past week as record-breaking temperatures produced life-threatening conditions for the elderly and vulnerable groups. In the US, the heat buckled highways, hobbled public transit and triggered rolling electricity outages.

While rains were 3 percent below average across Mexico as a whole last year, the strain on water reserves was exacerbated by increased domestic demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, a US government report showed last month....






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