Querétaro faces water stress

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The entity is facing the highest level of water stress derived from the lack of rain, according to CONAGUA.

The lack of rain in the last two years has placed the state of Querétaro among the six states with the highest level of water stress, according to the National Water Commission (Conagua).

Although for 2023, Conagua’s forecast was for greater rainfall for Querétaro and the country, the truth is that there were two factors: the rains took a while to arrive and not in the expected proportions.

Especially in September, above-average rains are expected in the northwest of the country and below average in the northern and central regions.

According to the president of the Water Council of the state of Querétaro, Katia Reséndiz, this year’s forecasts and water reality have generated concern for the state of Querétaro.

“We are definitely in crisis, the state is number six suffering from water stress, compared to the 32 states of the Republic. There is a lot to do.”

For the president, water stress is due to the climate crisis at the country and world level, for which she considered it necessary to implement strategies for water training.

“Part of the climate crisis that we are experiencing has affected the issue of rain, the El Niño phenomenon, which is also something that occurred and caused us to be in crisis regarding the issue of rain and the state to suffer from greater drought.”

Guaranteed water for human consumption, not for the primary sector

Although the Executive Member of the State Water Commission (CEA), Luis Alberto Vega Ricoy, assured that in Querétaro the dry season has already been overcome, the livestock and peasant sector does not have water for this and the following year.

For Katia Reséndiz, Querétaro’s commitment would have to go in the direction of reusing the treated water to send it to the crop fields and in some cases for livestock.

“The vision that is being had today, of investing more in water treatment is very healthy and that is what we are looking for. From the Water Advisory Council we are seeking to strengthen the state’s water policy.”

She even acknowledged that given the problem, some ranchers have already approached the CEA to look for alternatives, such as the reuse of water in crops and use in the livestock sector.

“All of this is being thought about, I tell you, outside the CEA, as part of the Advisory Council, but the CEA is innovating on this issue.”

In that sense, the Secretary of Agricultural Development, Rosendo Anaya Aguilar, recognized that the rains generated natural forage in the fields, but the most serious problem could arise the following year.

And the rainy season is in the final stretch and the Querétaro dams are around 10 and 12 percent, so they could dry out next year.

“We are practically already at the end of the rainy season and today we see that what has rained is minimal, very little. Really, the situation for farmers and ranchers is a little worrying.”

One of the dams with the highest level, Jalpan, with around 30 percent, for the first time in 45 years the Irrigation Unit consumed the five million cubic meters allowed and will no longer be able to extract more water, only what is necessary for the human consumption.

The forced decision was made on September 2, which will prevent the planting of vegetables in the region, since it is the only body of water that supplies the primary sector.

“There is simply no time here, it is not something predictable that we are going to last three months, four months. Simply the people who were thinking of planting, either they no longer do it or they put themselves at risk, there is no time, there is no date, we depend on the rains arriving,” stated Antero Rodríguez, head of the Irrigation Unit in Jalpan.

Source: AM Queretaro