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PULSE NEWS MEXICO

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced a plan on Friday, July 29, to provide water to the northern drought-ridden state of Nuevo León over the course of the next 10 years.

The plan, which he announced during his daily morning press conference at the National Palace, encompasses a series of measures, including the use of desalination technology, the recycling of household water and the planting of water-retentive flora.

López Obrador said he was charging Mexico’s National Water Commission (Conagua) to provide “technical support” to the government of Nuevo León Governor Samuel García, a member of the opposition party Citizens’ Movement (García had been claiming that AMLO had abandoned the state because it was not led by a member of the president’s leftist National Regeneration Movement party), and to the administrations of 18 municipalities in the Monterrey metropolitan area.

With the new plan, López Obrador said that Nuevo León, which has been enduring a worsening drought for the last six months that has left numerous households having to ration water and cattlemen killing off their herds to avoid seeing them die of thirst, will now have all the water it needs for the next decade.

Previously, AMLO had called on soft drink and beer bottlers to voluntarily resolve the growing water shortage in the state by curbing and/or cancelling production, but since Nuevo León is a primarily industrial state, this plan was not well-received.

Under AMLO’s new plan, that “donation” of water by the bottlers is now mandatory.

“Conagua is now empowered to support and coordinate the operational efforts of the state’s drinking water agency and to dispose of all the water under concession,” López Obrador said Friday.

The president went on to explain that, within the framework of the plan, the Defense Secretariat (Sedena) will deploy operations across the region with tankers to supply potable water to the most vulnerable populations.

“I promise that before the end of my administration, there will be a water supply for eight or 10 years, starting now with this reinforcement plan,” he said.

AMLO also said that, despite the fact that it has finally started to rain in the state, the problem of water scarcity will take time to be resolved.

“And the poor population is being affected the most, those who do not have water lines, do not have infrastructure and have to carry water in trucks, so we are going to reinforce the support to these people,” he said.

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