Kevin, out for a hike in the beautiful country of Lesotho, Africa. Photo taken February 13, 2014.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mexico City is sucking up all the water!

As soon as we arrived here last Saturday, the first thing we noticed was the water level of the lake. This is the third time we've been here at Valle de Bravo and Lago Avandaro, and each time the water level of the lake has been lower than the time before.

Lake Avandaro was created between 1939 and 1947 when they built a hydroelectric dam here. The dam created a reservoir that also supplies Mexico City (120 kms, 75 miles away) with over 10% of it's needed fresh water.

Lake Avandaro on the left looks awfully tiny to be supplying huge Mexico City with water.

The problem is that Mexico City and it's 22 million people have a water problem. Or a lack of water problem. Interestingly, I can find research articles online written five years ago saying that this problem was only going to get worse...and it is.

This picture was taken in December of 2010. At the time, they were saying the water was a little low.

Taken yesterday. Yes, that's the same boat, in the same place. I notice the engine is missing now!

So we decided to go for a drive to the dam and see what we could see. We made it to the dam, but there are a bunch of signs there saying (in Spanish) "Federal Property, no parking" that kind of thing. So we didn't stop for a look. We continued on to the town of Colorines where there is another dam.

Near the town of Colorines, there are several of these huge towers that have something to do with the system of sucking the water all the way to Mexico City.

The dam at Colorines had more vegetation in it than water!

Colorines has a quiet town square...not much going on yesterday.

There may be a lack of water, but there's no shortage of oranges! You can buy 10 kgs (22lbs) of them for 30 pesos ($2.40) or 7 kgs (15.4 lbs) for 20 pesos ($1.60).

Part of the pipe system that pumps water all the way to Mexico City!

You can see that the water level should be about 15 feet higher than it is.

We stopped at this strawberry stand along the way! This lady smiled a little when I asked if I could take her picture, but she wouldn't smile for the photo itself!

We bought a half kilo for 12.5 pesos ($1.00).

The strawberries were really good, but they were actually a bit expensive. We have bought a half kilo before for as little as 7 pesos (56 cents).

So it was an interesting day. Sure do wonder what's going to happen when the reservoir dries up. The population of Mexico City is growing at 3.5% annually so the problem is only going to get worse. 


  1. Hm, not the best place to have a houseboat it seems. That sucks.
    Oh, I think you used that word! *snort*!

  2. Seems like a pretty quiet area too bad about the water problem.

  3. The lake is 10% of Mexico city's needs. Where is the other 90% coming from?

    1. 70% of their water comes from a huge underground reservoir several hundred meters under Mexico City and the rest gets piped in from other outlying areas such as Valle de Bravo.

  4. Wow that is freaky. My bro was telling me that water will be the new oil. There is a documentary on netflix talking about how billionaires are buying up all the water rights to control the supply. I think it is called taped. We need to develop better tech to solve this problem. Like something to pull water out of the atmosphere. Great article. Lots of good pics. I don't know how you do it. It would take me a month to write this.

    1. I believe it. Water will be in short supply in some areas. Not only do we need better technolgy to help solve this problem but I also think that people need to be more aware of how much they waste and to be more conservative with it. More education is needed in this department. Living in an RV and boondocking makes you think twice about how much water you use, unlike living in a house where you turn on the water and it is just there and therefore is normally wasted by letting it just run down the drain, such a waste!

  5. Fracking is a big cause of future water problems, it is replacing the oil being extracted and the water will become contaminated. Warren Buffet is buying up water rights along with other corporations. Prepare for the future, create your own water catchment.

  6. Wow, that's shocking about the water level. The photo with the boat really demonstrates the problem! And on a side note, that's too funny about the strawberries. I saw some at the grocery store for nearly 4 times as much today.


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