Thousands of fish die in Chihuahua


Thousands of fish have died in Laguna de Bustillos, located in the Anahuac section of the municipality of Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, as a result of the drought that has prevailed in recent months that has reduced the water level by up to two kilometers from the original margins of the place.

Faced with the situation, employees of the municipal government of Cuauhtémoc began work to bury and cover with lime the thousands of dead fish. Most of the aquatic species that died were carp that weighed between four and 10 kilograms, and that when decomposing in the sun caused the proliferation of flies.

Irma de la Peña Meraz, head of the municipal ecology department, confirmed that the lagoon has dried up over 2,000 meters, counting from the margins where the ejidos such as Favela, La Selva, Centro Calles and Portillo are located, in the Anáhuac section, while on the opposite side of the body of water are the Mennonite fields 15, 14B, 16, 17, 23 and 24, where there are crops that are irrigated with wells and reduce the water runoff.

The lowering of the water level has also caused greater contamination, since the pesticides and fertilizers that run off from the Mennonite fields are concentrated in the little water available, which could be the cause of the fish mortality, according to inhabitants of the aforementioned ejidos.

The total surface of the Bustillos lagoon was reduced by almost 35 percent compared to the size it had a few years ago, according to satellite photographs from the National Water Commission (Conagua). The reduction in margins is significant on the eastern side of the lagoon.

The Conagua Drought Monitor reported in its most recent update, issued on May 31, that the 67 municipalities of the state of Chihuahua are suffering from drought conditions, 42 of them at the exceptional drought level, 23 in extreme drought and two in severe drought.

The municipality of Cuauhtémoc is suffering from extreme drought; it has not rained during the current agricultural cycle, which increased the consumption of wells for irrigation of crops in Mennonite fields, and the amount of water that reaches Laguna de Bustillos is less than usual.

Source: jornada