And this is where life in the city starts getting a just a bit more stressful. La Prensa is reporting that the Mexico City government will be cutting off the main flow of water to the capital "100%" during the end of Semana Santa, April 9 through 12. We can't repeat it enough: the water supply right now is at critically low levels. El Universal confirms that the Cutzamala valve will be entirely shut off on Thursday, and that the city won't feel the effects until probably Friday, the 10th.
Stock up now, officials warned.
Who's to say the water will return on April 13? What will this mean at the airport? At the hotels? At the Pemex headquarters? At Carlos Slim's mansion? What will this mean for all the foreign embassies, for Los Pinos, for the Condesa?
Probably not in any measure of inconvenience that has been lived by millions in the poor barrios of Iztapalapa and elsewhere. Since the first mandatory 'three-day' cutback last month, some people in the city's margins still haven't had their water on at full force, the elite-serving Reforma reported on its front-page Friday. Residents are organizing amongst themselves to send scouts to the water-truck refill centers to make sure their neighborhoods are served -- to find crowds already waiting in line well before dawn.
So here in Centro the neighbors and I are starting a Survival Brigade to prepare for the scheduled total urban drought. Gotta stock up on bottled drinking water, immediately. Conservation at every level, the new mantra. Let's fill buckets now for splash baths and dishwashing. Gotta come up with a system to recycle shower water for flushing, and start planning a semi-sustainable water-gathering apparatus for when the rainy season starts. (Please, gods, make it soon.)
And, yup, we gotta make some Survival Brigade T-shirts.
* Previously, "Twenty million people, and no water?"
** UPDATE: We've just been informed by building management that our old Art Deco fortress is fitted with thousands of liters of back-up water in the event of these shut-offs, as probably many other buildings and institutions in Mexico City similarly have. (So much for the equalizing wrath of the elements.) Still, the brigade continues. Community, sustainability, T-shirts.