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The glass is half-empty

21 August 2009

…  literally:

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico is suffering from its driest year in 68 years, killing crops and cattle in the countryside and forcing the government to slow the flow of water to the crowded capital.

Below-average rainfall since last year has left about 80 of Mexico’s 175 largest reservoirs less than half full, said Felipe Arreguin, a senior official at the Conagua commission, which manages the country’s water supply.

“We have zones where the reservoirs are totally full but others that don’t have even a drop of water,” he said in an interview late on Tuesday.

More than 1,000 cattle have been lost due to lack of rainfall, and up to 20 million tons of crops managed by 3.5 million small farmers are at risk of being lost, agriculture groups say.

The arid northwest region of Mexico has been hardest hit…

I can vouch for the last statement from personal experience.  We should be having a good heavy rainfall every night this time of year, but so far, maybe a few hours a week if we’re lucky.

And, if dying cattle and parched orchards weren’t bad enough

Citrus greening disease has infected six citrus trees on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, spread by an infestation of the Asian citrus psyllid.

The Asian citrus psyllid, or jumping plant louse, carries the bacteria that causes the plant disease,  which stunts tree growth, causes premature flowering and — if it doesn’t kill the tree,  leads to the production of  bitter-tasting fruit.  Until recently, it was only found in Asia, but has affected Florida and Brazilian fruit truees since the 1990s.

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