An injection of 345 million pesos (US $18.5 million) has been announced to address the effects of the severe drought affecting 41 municipalities in Oaxaca’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec region.
The unusual drought is the worst recorded in the region, and has depleted the water in the principal reservoir of the area, the Benito Juárez dam.
At a press conference in Mexico City yesterday, Governor Alejandro Murat Hinojosa and the director of the National Water Commission (Conagua), Roberto Ramírez de la Parra, announced an emergency program through which the federal government pledged to guarantee the health and lives of the people of Oaxaca.
Murat explained that 240 million pesos will be allocated to provide water to the urban population of the region, drilling 14 deep wells to serve more than 640,000 people. Twenty-five water tankers will provide delivery of water to urban areas that do not have piped water.
The remaining 105 million pesos will upgrade and provide maintenance to 300 wells in support of the region’s farmers and fishermen.
Each well, explained Ramírez, requires an investment of 350,000 pesos, which will purchase all the necessary electrical equipment. The expenditure will benefit the agriculture sector’s 6,250 families and 2,000 hectares of farm land.
The Conagua director said the situation is expected to improve with the onset of the rainy season in May and June, but warned that a repeat later this year of the Pacific Ocean weather phenomenon called El Niño could create problems for next year.