Mexico’s Drought Recovery Will Depend on Prolonged Rainfall

Drought in Mexico has been a recurring phenomenon for several years, but its intensity has increased worryingly in 2024. Currently, more than 79% of the national territory is affected by drought, making it the worst water crisis in the last three years.

The lack of rainfall is immediate, but its presence does not mean that the drought will end immediately. Saúl Arciniega Esparza, a researcher at UNAM’s Faculty of Engineering, emphasizes that drought is a natural cyclical phenomenon that occurs in both dry and humid regions.

Mexico has historically experienced droughts since 1984. The worst droughts of the last 14 years occurred in 2011 and 2012, lasting two years. Then, in 2016 and 2017, dry periods prevailed, although not as severe. This suggests that average rainfall during those years was lower than expected.

Ricardo Monguez López, from the Institute of Geophysics, highlights the importance of analyzing these climatic anomalies due to their economic and anthropogenic consequences. Drought is the second most financially damaging event, although not the most damaging to populations.

Between 2000 and 2015, 145 droughts were recorded, causing almost 21 billion pesos in damages. Arciniega Esparza stresses that these are temporary, recurring natural phenomena and are a normal part of the climate in all regions of the world.

There are different types of droughts, including meteorological, agricultural, hydrological, and socioeconomic. The latter represents environmental, social, and economic impacts.

Arciniega Esparza warns that the current drought is not just a natural phenomenon, but also a result of human activities such as poor water management and deforestation.

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Satellite missions like NASA’s GRACE measure gravitational anomalies related to changes in the mass of water below and on the surface, identifying unusual patterns.

The causes of drought include natural climate variability, climate change, overexploitation of water resources, and deforestation.

Mexico’s drought is a complex problem that requires comprehensive solutions and the commitment of all sectors of society. It is essential to act responsibly and take steps to reduce water consumption and protect this valuable resource.

Using tools such as the Drought Monitor in Mexico, the problems facing the country can be closely monitored.

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