Potable water rationing in the Mexico valley and federal district (DF) will continue indefinitely, national water authority Conagua said.
The measure is necessary to preserve water levels in the reservoirs that make up the Cutzamala system, according to Mexico valley water basin authority (OCAVM) director Jorge Efrén Villalón Figaredo.
Conagua has been implementing 30% supply cuts throughout the year due to the low levels of water in the system, which supplies 20% of the water consumed in the Mexico valley metropolitan area.
Cutzamala’s three main reservoirs are currently at 62% of capacity and are unlikely to recover as the rainy season is almost over, Villalón Figaredo said.
Conagua urged residents to take part in its new water-saving campaign, launched by Mexican President Felipe Calderón. The 167mn-peso (US$12.9mn) campaign, backed by over 120 companies, promotes water saving measures throughout the country. The campaign, which urges people to care for water as if it were a family member, could cut water use by 50%, according to Conagua.
However, this kind of campaign will have little impact due to the relatively small percentage of water that is used for public consumption, a researcher with autonomous university UNAM’s geophysics institute, Luis Marín contends.
“In Mexico, agriculture uses around 75% of our water. Public urban use is only around 10%. So we can save as much water as possible in the urban areas, but it’s not going to have an effect,” Marín said.
The authority’s money would be better spent on reducing the amount of water used in agriculture, according to Marín.