Mexico is running out of water. Almost half of Mexico’s territory is currently experiencing a drought and there have been water shortages in over half of Mexico’s municipalities. In many cities and neighborhoods the taps have run dry for days at a time. In some parts of the city of Monterrey — which has been worst affected by the crisis — there hasn’t been any water for over 75 days.
This crisis has hit the poor and working class the hardest. Lack of water has meant extreme inflation. In some cases families are paying half of their weekly income on water alone, and this is on top of the 8% inflation rate in Mexico. Many small family owned businesses can no longer even afford to operate.
Just to get people enough water to live, the government has been forced to send out huge water trucks to neighborhoods. People line up for hours in order to fill up huge buckets with water, but these still aren’t enough. Residents from some neighborhoods say that despite multiple trips a day by these water trucks, they’re forced to go to other neighborhoods and cities and get water from the trucks running there. There have even been cases of water truck drivers being attacked for not having enough water and having their trucks hijacked.
While these scenes are horrifying, they are quickly becoming the norm across the world. In 2018, Cape Town South Africa narrowly averted a “day zero” crisis when all the taps in the city would have to be turned off. The entire country of Egypt may run out of water by 2025. Currently nearly half of India’s population is already facing a severe water shortage, and much of the country could run out of water by 2030. And, the West Coast of the U.S., as well as Mexico, are currently facing the worst drought conditions in 1200 years.
This worldwide water shortage is being caused by the climate crisis, the destruction of the environment and natural ecosystems that replenish the freshwater supply, and because of overuse of freshwater by big businesses.
These water crises are like a crystal ball peering into the near future of much of the planet, and they show exactly what this system of capitalism is planning for us if we stay stuck within this system. Fossil fuel companies can continue to destroy the Earth’s climate for profit, and big businesses will be able to use freshwater at unsustainable rates, but the poor and working majority of the world are supposed to just accept a future where we fight over inadequate supplies of water from water trucks. Our future and the future of the planet rest on seeing an end to this profit-driven system of destruction.