MEXICO CITY -- Less than a year after a devastating drought, a new dry spell is hurting farms and water supplies in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa, Gov. Juan Millan has warned.
Millan told reporters at an agricultural exposition here that his state has enough water for only 20 to 25 days, with reservoirs at only 10 percent of capacity.
He said the water shortage was apparently due to a drought that has also affected farms elsewhere in Mexico and in the United States. He is asking the federal government to declare a disaster zone, making the area eligible for emergency aid.
Mexico's National Meteorological Service reported that farmers recently faced temperatures of more than 100 degrees and no rain. Millan said rains normally start to fall at the end of June.
Millan, whose remarks were broadcast by local radio stations and reported by the government's Notimex news agency, said the state has lost 1.5 million tons of corn this season and has left almost 300,000 acres uncultivated.
Rains that fell in much of northern Mexico late last year broke a drought that had lasted for almost six years in some areas. Officials in Sinaloa said in spring 1997 that the drought then was the worst in 50 years.
Millan said officials are using tank trucks to bring drinking water to some 65,000 people in 270 mountain-zone communities, and was bringing in feed for livestock.
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