The serious shortage of water in Mexico

Water in Mexico faces a serious crisis and the country could run out of this resource in the near future since 15 of the country's 32 states are classified as having water stress.

According to the WHO and UNICEF Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Monitoring Programme, in 2022 around 2.200 billion people around the world do not have safely managed drinking water services. This means they do not have access to water that is clean, safe and accessible.

Main factors contributing to this water crisis

  • Climate change: Global warming is causing an increase in temperatures and a decrease in precipitation, which is generating more frequent and intense droughts.
  • Overexploitation of aquifers: the extraction of groundwater for human, agricultural and industrial consumption is depleting groundwater resources.
  • Water pollution: The discharge of wastewater and other pollutants into rivers, lakes and aquifers is reducing water quality and the availability of drinking water.

Droughts worsen water scarcity

According to the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), in 2021 8,491 were registered droughts in Mexico, of which 71% were severe, 26% extreme and 3% exceptional. The IMCO also estimates that, by 2030, 70% of the Mexican territory will be under water stress.

The effects of the scarcity of water resources in Mexico are already being felt in some regions of the country. In Mexico City, for example, restrictions on water consumption have been implemented to avoid shortages. In the north of the country, drought has caused the loss of crops and livestock.

If measures are not taken to mitigate the water crisis, Mexico could face widespread water shortages in the near future. This would have a significant impact on the economy, health and well-being of the Mexican population.

Water consumption in Mexico

In Mexico, with a population of around 129 million people, the water supply is beginning to decrease day by day; and no mechanism has been found to solve this problem.

According to research by the Virtual Water Center, per capita water availability has plummeted since 1950, when each Mexican could reach 18.000 cubic meters per year. In 2023, per capita water availability is approximately 4.000 cubic meters per year.

On the other hand, the Mexico City Water System (Sacmex) warns that the average water consumption per person in Mexico City is 307 liters per day compared to 40 liters in the mid-1990s. This This figure is higher than the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is 100 liters per day.

Water consumption in Mexico varies according to the region and the sector of the population. In general, water consumption in urban areas is higher than in rural areas. Water consumption in the domestic sector is higher than in the agricultural and industrial sectors.

Mexicans could waste more and more water in the coming years, reaching 91.2 billion liters of water per year by 2030.

Measures that can be taken to mitigate the water crisis in Mexico

  • Invest in water conservation, such as rehabilitating irrigation systems and creating green areas.
  • Promote the efficient use of water in the domestic, industrial and agricultural sectors.
  • Reduce water pollution.

These measures require a coordinated effort from all sectors of society, including government, businesses and citizens.

With information of: