Mexico drought leave 1million under water rations as some neighborhoods’ taps have been dry for 50 days

Mexico drought leave 1million under water rations as some neighborhoods’ taps have been dry for 50 days

Mexico is in the grip of a historic water shortage that is bringing acute misery to communities across the country.

In Monterrey, the capital of the north-eastern state of Nuevo León, water rationing is now in place in the wealthy city of more than 1 million people.

Images captured last week, by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite of the EU’s Earth observation programme, revealed the desperate state of the La Boca reservoir, one of the city’s main water sources.

The ongoing drought conditions have left the reservoir almost completely dry. In the satellite image above, the yellow outline indicates the surface of the La Boca reservoir at full capacity.

Some neighborhoods in Monterrey have now been without running water for 50 days, according to an AFP report this weekend. For six years, the bustling, industrial city has experienced below-average rainfall interspersed with drought.

The entire state of Nuevo León was either “abnormally dry” or in drought at the end of June.

“For those who don’t believe in climate change, here are the consequences,” said Nuevo León Governor Samuel García, according to AP. “This is clearly the result of climate change: a semi-desert area gets drier.”

In May, the state reported its hottest-ever average temperature, reaching 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40C). The climate crisis is causing temperatures to rise across the country. By the end of the century, northern Mexico could see its average annual temperatures rise by 5.4F-7.2F (3-4C).

Hotter air temperatures cause moisture to evaporate from land, lakes and rivers, and lead to drought. Water insecurity exacerbates food insecurity as without water, crops and livestock die-off.

Severe droughts have seized many parts of the world. According to the United States Drought Monitor, most of the country is “abnormally dry” while areads of the US West and Southwest are facing “extreme” and “exceptional” drought.

A major heatwave is descending on Europe, where scorching temperatures and arid conditions have led to a historic drought in Italy and vast wildfires in Portugal and Greece.

There is a significant chance that temperatures will reach 40C - including in the UK where the government is reportedly drawing up plans for an emergency reponse.

Last month, Japan suffered an unprecedented heatwave with its hottest ever day since records began in the late 19th century. On Tuesday, 86 cities in China had issues red alerts over extreme temperatures, according to CNA, as roads buckled and people sought out cooling centres to escape the heat.