New pictures taken from space show that the Cerro Prieto reservoir in Mexico has nearly dried up in less than a decade. The images have been revealed by American space agency NASA.
For years, water levels in the Cerro Prieto reservoir in Guadalupe in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon have been dropping, NASA said on its website. But a drought over the past two years has brought the reservoir to its lowest point yet, it added. The reservoir was built in 1980s and provides water to over a million people in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon. In July, the reservoir’s capacity of 393 million cubic metres was reduced to 0.5 per cent (318,000 acre-feet), according to NASArelease.
The images shared by the agency have been captured by the Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), and indicate a significant change between the Cerro Prieto reservoir in July this year and the lake in the same month in 2015.
According to the American Space Agency, when temperatures in Nuevo Leon reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the second week of July, water levels in Cerro Prieto fell so low that water could no longer be extracted from the lake. Conagua, Mexico’s national water agency, responded by announcing emergency measures, including the redirection of some industrial and agricultural water allotments to secure residential supply.
Drought conditions affected more than 21 million people in Mexico by the end of June. The northern states bordering the United States were the worst hit. Drought conditions were exceptional or intense in about a quarter of Chihuahua and a third of Coahuila.
In early July, a drought emergency was declared by Mexico’s National Water Commission.