Is Guanajuato Already at ‘Day Zero’? Three Major Dams Are Completely Dry

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The drought in the central region of Mexico is depleting water reserves in various dams, including the Palote Dam in León. Citizens and authorities have observed how the dams, once full of water, now show dry beds, representing a significant environmental and social impact. Organizations such as the Potable Water and Sewerage System of León (Sapal) are seeking solutions, such as filling dams with treated water, to combat the shortage. The drought situation highlights the importance of water conservation and the development of efficient use measures to ensure long-term supply.

Cañada de Negros Dam and Green Areas Dry Up

The dam of the community of Cañada de Negros, in the municipality of Purísima del Rincón, has reduced its level, and the surrounding green areas have been drying up even more. In the area, it can be seen how the green areas have dried up, and the trees are also in the same condition.

For the community delegate, Moisés Arellano, this is a worrying situation due to the importance of water for the agricultural and livestock sectors.

“The lack of water would affect us all, but mostly those who have their crops and livestock, it’s a big impact. Many people come here to fish, but without water, the species there lose their lives. But let’s hope that this year will be good for the waters, and let’s hope it fills up again,” he commented.

The area where this dam is located has stood out for the tourism of the municipality, as it usually receives visits for the landscape it offers. In addition, it is a space where livestock animals continuously go to drink water for their development.

“That place is governed as an ejido, but actions are taken to ensure good maintenance and that the use of water does not cause damage, to lower the level. Maybe it does require spending a little water, but it should be done with the necessary measures,” concluded the delegate.

Water Crisis Warned in Apaseo el Grande

Warning that it is a serious situation, staff from CMAPA, the potable water operating system of Apaseo el Grande, reported that this Monday two urban wells were depleted, which will cause low pressure or lack of water supply in the city.

CMAPA staff pointed out that the neighborhoods of Acequia Grande, Villas del Cerrito, Obrera, Casas Blancas, and Tepeyac will be the most affected because the wells of the Obrera neighborhood and La Calavera were depleted, so the aquifer has had problems.

The option will be to interconnect the network with the wells from other points in the city, asking citizens to take precautions because the water that arrives through the network will only rise about 50 cm from the floor and may not reach the water tanks. It was also said that the water distribution will be from 2 to 5 in the morning so that at that time the necessary water can be set aside.

José Luis Mancera, head of the organization, pointed out that the city of Apaseo el Grande has already reached ‘day zero,’ because it is considered so due to the fact that the wells do not provide enough supply for the 40,000 inhabitants of the municipal head, as according to the statistics of the operating system in this city, each person consumes an average of 216 liters of water daily.

“The zero zone (or day zero) as we handle the zero stage we live it daily, we consider that we as organisms do not dry up the wells, we are having a shortage because the wells are lowering their level, the problem is that developments or subdivisions (in past governments) arrive and they are not required to have their well.”

It is also unknown if any well can recover over time as the recharge depends on the rains and it is not known how long this shortage will last, so the population was asked to save as much as possible and be conscious.

The Palote Dam in León Dries Up, at 1% Capacity

What environmentalists, citizens of León, and authorities saw coming happened this Tuesday: the Palote Dam, in the Metropolitan Park, dried up. Citizens themselves shared photographs showing what was once a body of water and is now walkable terrain.

According to the Potable Water and Sewerage System of León (Sapal), the current level of the Palote Dam is at 1.34%, with a storage of 129,402.45 m³ and at 1,830.53 meters above sea level.

This March 26th, on social networks, users shared photographs and videos of how the dam looks now, without water. People walk on what was once liquid and is now soil and stones. Despite the low level marked by Sapal, there is not a drop of water in the dam.

The ruins of the old hacienda that used to protrude a bit when the dam was full or above half level are now completely exposed. On social networks, users even show comparative photographs from 2023 or 2022, when it still had water.

Now, people visiting the park walk in a desert-like site, as the dam is no longer the attraction.

The Palote Dam had never dried up like this before; low levels of up to 20% capacity were recorded, but it never dropped to practically no liquid as it has now.

The strategy that Sapal intends to implement in September 2024 is to fill this dam with treated water, using nanotechnology, but first, it must obtain certification from federal agencies such as CONAGUA, SEMARNAT, and COFEPRIS, to obtain potability certificates, so that the water, with all the treatment processes, can be used for human consumption without causing health damage.

So far, Sapal has not made a statement about this historic event that the Palote Dam is already dry. Last year there were still a few fishermen who came with the intention of catching sunfish, but this possibility is now discarded.

The water rationing will continue in the 143 colonies of León, which comprise five zones: Bajío, Insurgentes, Gran Jardín, Los Castillos, and Insurgentes. At least until the rainy season returns, this water distribution could be regularized; for now, they have water one day yes and one day no.

Source: Periodico Correo