WaterWare:   Lerma-Chapala, Mexico

The dominant water use in the Lerma-Chapala basin is irrigation, with accounts for about 80% of the total demand.

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Rainfall in this part of Mexico normally occurs only for 3 or 4 months of the year, the remaining period being warm and dry. When rainfall does occur, it is mainly associated with thunderstorms, and flooding is a common problem. As this is a semi-arid area, agriculture is reliant on irrigation, which annually accounts for nearly 5,500 million cubic meters of water. Groundwater is also used for irrigation but there are no major aquifers in the Lerma valley, only infilled-lake sediments.

Lake Chapala is the remains of what must have been a huge natural lake; even now, it is potentially the largest body of freshwater in Mexico, providing in excess of 10,000 million cubic meter of storage. In addition, there are further ten major reservoirs within the basin, affording a further 1,850 million cubic meters of storage, whcih are mainly used to support irrigation.


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