One of the Largest Cities in the World is Running Out of Water

Water scarcity has been the topic of conversation in the past few years as a result of the climate crisis. Poor water management in congruence with rising global temperatures have left many cities in desperation for running water in their homes and businesses and authorities are sounding the alarm bells.

Mexico City is home to more than 20 million people and the residents have been facing an unprecedented water shortage that became critical at the beginning of 2024. The drought has only worsened as temperatures rise in the area.

Authorities and local news outlets are warning residents of a “day zero”, referencing the day the Cutzamala System (the system that supplies water to Mexico City and other surrounding cities) runs out of water. They predict this day could come as soon as June and the drought may last as late as September. Tragically, locals already don’t have enough running water and the rain season doesn’t start until May.

Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to ensure the Cutzamala System doesn’t run out of water for residents. Due to the temperature hike, much of the water meant to be supplied from the system is evaporated. Authorities estimate that without significant rainfall, the Cutzamala System will run dry as soon as June 26, 2024.

Mexico City resident Juan Ortega told Reuters that “Cars are no longer washed… The garden, the grass, is never watered, only the plants to that they don’t die. We are going to start reusing water from the washing machines for watering”.

Some small businesses are forced to pay water trucks to bring water for their essential needs. Now, authorities are growing even more concerned as the temperatures increase in the area. With temperatures above 90 degrees and rainfall being low in the past 5 years, Mexico City officials are facing something administrations before did not even dream of.

In addition to less-than-optimal weather conditions, wealthier residents have added to the problem with poor water management and water waste.

Unfortunately, this is not only a problem in Mexico City. One resident explained, “We know this is not a local issue. We understand that it is a global water crisis… It is very, very worrying because hundreds of families are being affected”.

And this is certainly the case. Other major locations such as California, Spain, and Brazil have been battling the water with increased urgency over the past few years as well.

So what is being done about it? Mexico City’s water commission is currently executing a project to improve water management by digging wells and installing new water treatment plants. Additionally, they are working to fix leaks that contribute to the water scarcity and restoring waterways in and around Mexico City.