“In March, it didn’t rain a single drop across the state,” he said, adding that it was the first rain-free March since the government began tracking records in 1960.
Today, the government distributes a total of nine million liters of water per day to 400 neighborhoods. Every day, ‘pipas’, large trucks filled with water and pipes for distribution, fan out across Monterrey and its suburbs to meet the needs of the driest neighborhoods, often illegal settlements where the poorest residents live.
Alejandro Casas, a water truck driver, has worked for the government for five years and said that when he started, he supported the city’s firefighters and received calls perhaps once or twice a month to deliver water to a fire. His working days were often spent staring at his phone.
But since the water shortage in Monterrey became so acute that the taps started running is dry in January, he now works every day, making up to 10 daily trips to different neighborhoods to supply about 200 families with water on each trip.
By the time Mr. Casas arrives, a long line winds through the neighborhood’s streets with people waiting their turn. Some families carry containers that can hold 200 liters or 53 gallons, and wait all afternoon in the sun before finally receiving water at midnight.
The water he supplies can provide the whole family for up to a week.