Water levels shrink and wildfires burn as severe drought hits Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico - A drought in Mexico has shrunk the country's water supplies as wildfires burn over tens of thousands of acres.

Firefighters arrive to control a wildfire in Mexico's Chapultepec Forest.
Firefighters arrive to control a wildfire in Mexico's Chapultepec Forest.  © IMAGO / Agencia EFE

None of the country's 210 reservoirs are completely full, and 19 are less than half full, water authorities said on Tuesday.

A reservoir that supplies a quarter of Mexico City's water is currently 42.8% full, a level 23% under the historical average.

In the city's metropolitan area, where some 22 million people live, the drought is the worst in 30 years, according to Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.

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There are also 78 active fires in Mexico that have spread over more than 100,000 acres, forest authorities said.

More than 3,600 emergency service personnel were fighting the flames.

The drought is affecting 85% of Mexico and parts of neighboring countries in Central America are also affected – drought is among the reasons that tens of thousands of people attempt to leave the region and migrate to the United States every month.

Mexico is in its dry season, which lasts from around November until the beginning of the Pacific hurricane season in mid-May.

But rainfall has been low even for the dry season – since the start of the year there has been around one third less rain than usual.

The rainy season is forecast to be delayed until June.

Parts of the country, such as the southern states of Guerrero and Michoacán, have recently seen record high temperatures.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Agencia EFE

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