The situation of water and rain scarcity in certain regions is not temporary, so it is better that we take actions to be prepared.
The false hope is repeated in different countries and communities: “A hurricane or a storm will come and solve the water crisis in the area.” This will not happen, it will apparently solve the situation for a while, but will not put a remedy to it.
During my participation in the Historical Challenge Forum: Water for Nuevo León (August 4th, 2022) I emphasized that even if the rain comes, we must not lower our guard. Drought is not a passing phenomenon and requires an immediate change of attitude.
At the meeting I had the opportunity to exchange points of view with Víctor Hugo Guerra, head of the International Water Center of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL); Aldo Iván Ramírez, professor and researcher at Tec de Monterrey, and Juan Ignacio Barragán, head of Water and Drainage of Nuevo León.
In one of my shifts, I explained that the Rio Bravo Basin, to which Nuevo León belongs, is the one with the greatest hydric stress in the world. Conditions will no longer be what they were before the current crisis.
To emphasize and give the audience something to think about, I asked: “What would happen if that miraculous and saving rain came? Once and for all I tell you, the answer is: nothing. We won’t return to the way things were before. This is the new normal”.
Aldo Iván Ramírez, professor and researcher, agreed with me and emphasized that if a hurricane comes, it will be welcome, but “we cannot be praying for it to happen, we have to be prepared,” he said. A permanent change of attitude is required, there is no other way.
When there’s no rain, then water is brought from other places. I commented that that is not the solution to the problem either. I raised the need to put limits on growth, to promote reforestation, green infrastructure, protection of recharge areas and to grant positive incentives so that the different productive sectors reduce their water consumption and we decrease our level of vulnerability.
During the talk, Guerra, the head of the UANL International Water Center, presented various proposals, including a management plan for the Pesquería River and a project to convert the Rompepicos dam to allow infiltration and recharge of aquifers. The construction of a second dam of this kind was also discussed.
The four speakers agreed on the need to optimize the management of basins, encourage reuse, and reduce demand, even if the supply of water is increased from other sources.
And a solution that was exposed for the end user was to establish an incentive program for the installation of domestic water-saving equipment, native landscaping, reuse, and rainwater harvesting.
All these are measures to prevent a problem that won’t be solved only by nature: the drought will continue, and it is necessary to be prepared, to adapt, and realize that the availability of water is everyone’s responsibility in the first place.