April 10, 2009

Mexico City Shuts Off Main Water Line Temporarily

Officials have cut off the main water pipeline in Mexico City due to drastically low reserve levels.

The pipeline closure began on Thursday and is scheduled to be in effect for 36 hours over Easter weekend.

An estimated 20 million residents are said to be without fresh running water while city officials work on repairs and try to reverse a record drop in reserve levels. The Cutzamala supply system is at 47 percent capacity.

The shutdown is taking place during Semana Santa, Mexico's second most important holiday. Many residents are expected to leave the city for the holiday.

The shutdown is part of an emergency plan over a period of five months that will include repairs to stop massive leaks in the distribution network of one of the main water supply systems, according to AFP.

Leaks and low rainfall during 2008 are to blame for the record low levels, officials said.

"Losses from leaks are greater than the total resources supplied through this system," Conagua's website said.

According to BBC News, this marks the third time Mexico's capital city has faced water rationing this year.

The government has provided 500 trucks with water tanks and drinking water containers for its residents.


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