Monterrey: Maria Celia Navarro smiles melancholy, remembering the now unthinkable luxury of taking a shower at home before water scarcity hits one of Mexico’s wealthiest cities. Surrounded by mountains a few hours drive from the US border, Monterrey, an industrial powerhouse, boasts a standard of living that many Mexicans could only dream of.

Residents of northern cities, with approximately 5 million people in metropolitan areas, are generally spared the chronic lack of services that plague many poor parts of the country. But for weeks, the lack of heat waves and rain means that Monterrey only runs for a few hours a day.

In the underprivileged areas on the hills, more than 50 days have passed since some inhabitants last saw a drop of water from the faucet. “I’m dying for water,” Navarro said. She said she was in poor health at the age of 73, in a small, poorly ventilated house in the city of Garcia, where she felt she was “very depressed” from the sun. She says she can’t even remember the time when Monterrey’s households had to deal with very little water, even the elderly in the city.

Garcia: Residents collect drinking water from tank trucks in the city of Garcia, northwest of the metropolitan area of ​​Monterrey in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. -AFP

Fill the bucket

Despite being a modern and prosperous city and home to multinational corporations, few homes have water tanks that are common in other big cities, including the capital Mexico City. “I didn’t need them,” said Javier Torres, a city council member who oversees a tank truck that carries water to Garcia, where the whole family runs outside with a bucket to collect valuable liquids.

Many residents of Monterrey, the capital of the prosperous Nuevo Leon state, can’t afford a large tank because their homes are packed with instant storage containers and prices are soaring. A semi-arid climate means that when the average temperature reaches 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) each summer, authorities need to monitor the level of some reservoirs that supply the city.

By the end of June, one water had dropped to less than 1% of its capacity, another had dropped to 7%, and one-third had dropped to 44%, according to the National Water Authority. Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel Garcia said the leak in the pipeline was partially responsible, adding that he was “not Tlaloc” and referring to the Aztec rain god. Artificial rainfall, a technique that attempts to induce rain by dispersing chemicals in the sky elsewhere in Mexico, is one of his suggestions for tackling this problem.

Companies lend a hand

According to Antonio Hernandez, an expert who closely tracks the city of Monterrey’s environmental problems, Monterrey faces uncertain prospects due to the slight rainfall and poor management of water resources in 15 months. increase. Despite the drought, he said, the industrial sector, which is booming with farmers who dominate the production of soft drinks, beer, steel and cement, is largely unrestricted.

Fundamental measures, such as stopping commercial activity, “seem to be unthinkable at this point,” Hernandez said. Last week, after negotiations with federal authorities, businesses and farmers agreed to take steps to mitigate the shortage. “Companies have closed for a few days a week to save water,” Torres said. “There are companies that have sent us water so that we can supply it to some areas,” the councilor said.

Reservoir La Boca, on the outskirts of Monterrey, looks as empty as the 12 restaurants on the recently refurbished promenade. Boats left high and dry with cracked lake bottoms and retreating water now welcome visitors. “After the pandemic, we barely held our breath and the drought began,” said Adrian Luna, a 26-year-old waiter who fears that boat trips and horseback riding will be a distant memory. – AFP

Source link

Previous articleDavid Gillic about his love / hate relationship with running
Next articleQatar’s IPI fell 2.4% year-on-year in May