By MARK LORENZANA
Northern Mexican states recently experienced a reprieve brought about by August rainfall that exceeded the country’s historical average and alleviated — at least temporarily — the drought that has plagued, in particular, the northeastern part of Mexico.
According to the Mexico Drought Monitor, in the second half of August of this year, above-average rains were observed in the northeastern, northwestern, north, central-western and southern regions of the country, as well as in the Yucatan Peninsula — after the majority of these regions experienced almost a year of precipitation deficits.
Due to the abundant rainfall, the areas affected by severe drought went down from 16.2 to 9.2 percent between Aug. 15 and 31.
Meanwhile, extreme drought levels fell from 4.4 to 1 percent, and exceptional drought from 0.8 to 0 percent.
Mexico’s Technical Committee for the Operation of Hydraulic Works (CTOOH) said that after the abundant rains recorded in recent days, increases were reported in the storage of some of the main dams in the country.
According to the CTOOH, the total storage of the 210 main dams was, as of Sept. 5, at 73,954 million cubic meters, which still represents a deficit of 3 percent compared to what it should be averaging to date. However, the volume is still a considerable improvement, considering that the deficit was up to 13 percent in June of this year.
The northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, in particular, has seen the storage volume of its dams increase (with one dam reported to have increased its storage level from 10.7 to 15.3), which means that local farmers can start preparing their fields — which have been severely affected by drought — to plant 750,000 hectares of grain.