Lake Pátzcuaro in Mexico is disappearing authorities blame drought and water theft


A popular lake in central Mexico, which is a major tourist destination during the Day of the Dead festivities, is severely affected due to drought, deforestation, and the theft of its water.

Lake Pátzcuaro, in the western state of Michoacán, has lost more than half of its volume since authorities began tracking the drop in its water levels, according to a new report from Televisa, a CNN affiliate.

The lake, which is part of a municipality of the same name and known as a “magical town,” is affected by various “environmental factors” and the “illicit extraction of water,” according to the local government of Pátzcuaro.

The municipality claims that a new committee created in April to help save the lake prevented the theft of “600,000 liters of water per day.”

Authorities say that droughts also impact the lake, both because its water levels are not replenished and because periods of drought encourage criminals to divert its water for sale.

Both the town of Pátzcuaro and its lake are important tourist destinations, especially during the Day of the Dead festivities in November.

The alarming images, which show some water off the shores of Janitzio Island, starkly contrast with images of fishermen and small boats that appear in the lake’s tourist videos published by the government.

Experts told Televisa that deforestation in the surrounding areas also harms the lake’s water levels.

They said that when parts of the lake dried up, it was common for people to plant crops and settle on the new lands.

Source: CNN