25 Million People Face A General Water Shortage As Authorities Run Out of Options
Mexico City, one of the world’s largest mega cities, is a poster child for what happens when global warming meets human overconfidence and incompetence. As the average temperature ramps up and the city drills ever deeper into its underground aquifers, the land beneath the city is sinking…and sinking fast. In some neighborhoods, the subsidence rate is up to 9″ a year with major landmarks on the verge of collapse and roads buckling like a massive fun house that is no fun at all.
In the historic part of town, the National Palace leans over the sidewalk and the famous Zócalo catherdral features a bell tower propped up with stone wedges.
About 20 percent of Mexico City residents don’t get water regularly from their taps and what does come out is suspect. These poor neighborhoods are served by quasi legal trucking companies that tap into the already collapsing aquifers and deliver the water at exorbitant cost to the poorest neighborhoods. In many neighborhoods, water wells are contaminated by minerals and chemicals, rendered the water marginal for drinking water. Residents forced to use the supply see their children break into rashes and suffer bouts of colitis.
Not surprisingly, the water supply for the wealthy parts of town is fairly reliable, if unsustainable in the long run. The average resident in these parts of town use 100 gallons a day, but pay approximately 25% of what the people in the less desirable areas.
Meanwhile, the area continues to set new heat records, with predictions that the average temperature will rise several degrees over the next several decades, which average rainfall will continue to declines.
As quoted in the New York Times, Arnoldo Kramer, Mexico City’s chief resilience officer, states bluntly: “Climate change has become the biggest long-term threat to this city’s future. And that’s because it is linked to water, health, air pollution, traffic disruption from floods, housing vulnerability to landslides — which means we can’t begin to address any of the city’s real problems without facing the climate issue.”
As the situation worsens, the migration patterns are expected to become far more problematic and dangerous, as millions more climate refugees make their way north.
Better build a bigger wall, Donald.