Lakes disappearing in Mexico drought


Villahermosa (Mexico) : The lack of rain in the southern state of Tabasco, where 25 percent of Mexico’s water resources are located, has caused several lakes to begin drying up, leaving fishermen without their livelihood.

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According to the National Water Commission, or Conagua, the level of rivers and lakes dropped notably during July due to scanty rainfall that some scientists attribute to climate change, the Spanish news agency EFE said.

Gilberto Segovia Quintero, spokesperson for Conagua in Tabasco, warned of lesser rain in the coming weeks in the Gulf of Mexico. “The amount of rainwater collected is 60 percent less than expected during these months,” he said.

The State Civil Protection System, or SEPC, reported that the levels of lakes bordering Villahermosa, Tabasco’s capital, fell last week.

“This is happening because it hasn’t rained as much as it usually does during this season,” said SEPC spokesperson Rurico Dominguez.

He denied, however, that the shrinking of these lakes had anything to do with global warming.

The level of La Majagua Lake west of Villahermosa has dropped dramatically and in some places dead fish and cracks in the dry lakebed have been found.

The approximately 200 fishermen working in the area cannot continue their trade due to the amount of water the lake has lost.

In other years during these months the community would be preparing to withstand the battering of floods from an overflowing La Sierra River.

Reyes Bautista, a fisherman of the region, asked the governor of Tabasco for aid in dealing with the crisis in the fishing sector.

Fishermen say it isn’t normal that La Majagua Lake has lost the level it has maintained “since forever”, specially “at this time of year”.

Some months ago, a scientific study by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) showed that the coastal regions on the Gulf of Mexico were the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

According to the UNAM’s Center of Atmospheric Sciences, Tabasco will suffer the first damage in the Grijalva, Mezcapala and Usumacinta rivers, the principal waterways in the southern part of the country.