By THE PULSE NEWS STAFF
Supermarkets and self-service convenience stores struggled to keep up with demand this week as anxious Mexico City residents rushed to load up on bottled water in anticipation of the potable water cutoff starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The National Water Commission (Conagua) has warned that more than 50 percent of Mexico City and parts of the State of Mexico (Edomex) will suffer water shortages and cutoffs for at least five days.
Conagua that the suspension will last through Sunday, Nov. 4, in order to conduct maintenance operations at its Cutzamala treatment plant, which supplies drinking water to most of the Mexican capital and surrounding areas.
The Water Commission initiated partial service interruptions in the neighborhoods of Iztapalapa, Tláhuac and Ciudad Netzahualcóyotl in September.
The Mexico City areas that will be affected by the end-of-the-month five-day service suspension are the precincts of Álvaro Obregón, Azcapotzalco, Benito Juárez, Coyoacán, Cuajimalpa, Cuauhtémoc, Iztacalco, Iztapalapa, Magdalena Contreras, Miguel Hidalgo, Tláhuac, Tlálpan and Venustiano Carranza.
The water shutoff will be 100 percent in Miguel Hidalgo, Cuauhtémoc, Cuajimalpa and Álvaro Obregón.
In the State of Mexico, the municipalities that will be affected are Toluca, Metepec, Huixquilucan, Cuautitlán Izcalli, Ecatepec, Naucalpan, Tlalnepantla, Tultitlán, Coacalco, Netzahualcóyotl, Chimalhuacán and parts of La Paz.
Conagua officials have warned that while service will begin to be restored on Nov. 4, consumers can expect at least partial shortages to continue through Thursday, Nov. 8.
Conagua said that the end-of-month maintenance process will affect about 4.5 million residents of Mexico City and 3.6 million in people Edomex.
It also said that once the maintenance service is completed at the Cutzamala plant, barring any major contingencies such as an earthquake or other unforeseen disaster, there should be no water shortages or supply cutoffs in Mexico City for at least one more year.
All Mexico City and State of Mexico residents are advised to take precautions now, anticipating their drinking water and hygiene needs by storing enough potable water to last them through the cutoffs.
Conagua said that once water service is suspended, the cutoff will remain in effect until the abovementioned dates.