Thu, February 05, 2009
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Wanting for water in Mexico City

2009-02-05 09:02:43 GMT2009-02-05 17:02:43 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

Mexico City reduces water flow as reserves dip.

Authorities believe the low rainfall level in 2008 is an isolated case that does not indicate a significant change in the region's weather or a threat to the city's water supply.

SCRIPT:

Dishes still need to be done. But there is less water to wash them in Mexico City.

2008 was an unusually dry year in Central Mexico. City dams dried up and less water flowed through the Cutzamala aqueduct, which supplies 30 percent of the sprawling metropolitan area's water.

Last weekend the government began rationing water...cutting off a main pipeline during the day, allowing it to flow for just a few hours each night.

Neighbors rushed to fill cisterns and buckets with enough water to last them through the cut-off.

About 100,000 people in the city's mountainous outskirts have seen the shortage.

SOUNDBITE: Socorro Arellano, Mexico City resident, saying (Spanish):

"Yes, it's running short. There has been less water, and it doesn't have the same pressure when it arrives. We must save it."

City employees are also saving it...installing 1300-gallon tanks on busy streets to ensure a continued supply.

The spigots were back on Monday.

But the government plans to turn the water off at the end of each month...to make sure the life-sustaining liquid lasts until the rainy season begins in June.

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