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Sonora’s reservoir system at ‘crisis’ levels of storage, experts say

By Murphy Woodhouse
Published: Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 4:26pm

Reservoirs in neighboring Sonora are extremely low, spelling potential trouble for the state’s critical agriculture sector.

The state’s system of nine reservoirs stood at just shy of 19% of capacity Tuesday. That compares to roughly 28% the same time the year before — which came after a historically bad monsoon season —  and an average of over 50% for the 15 preceding years, according to federal data.

Jaime Garatuza, a hydrologist and irrigation specialist with the Sonoran Technical Institute, called the situation a “crisis.”

“On one side, climate change, on another side, climatic variability, and on yet another the lack of foresight in water management has put us in this situation,” he said.

The current La Niña climate pattern is expected to extend into the summer, raising the possibility of yet another hotter, drier monsoon season.

Given all that, here’s a real risk of crop reductions this year, which could have ripple effects across the agricultural state, according to Garatuza.

Fronteras Sonora Water