Mexico has declared a drought emergency to allow authorities to take special measures to ensure water supplies in the hardest-hit areas.
The steps are designed to manage the impact of a “severe, extreme or extraordinary” drought, Conagua’s national water agency said in a statement Tuesday.
Among other things, holders of water concessions for agricultural or industrial use can be obliged to allow their use by third parties.
Authorities in parts of Mexico, including the northern industrial powerhouse of Monterrey, have been forced to ration water use due to depleted reservoirs.
A heat wave and lack of rain have left Monterrey homes with running water for just a few hours a day for several weeks.
In some hillside neighborhoods, it has been more than 50 days since residents last saw a drip from their taps.
In the northwestern state of Baja California, a lack of water supply has sparked protests in some cities.
In parts of Mexico City, like the impoverished Iztapalapa neighborhood — home to 1.8 million people — it’s common for authorities to ration water and send in tankers to alleviate shortages.
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