(Bloomberg) -- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said beer producers and other businesses in Monterrey, Mexico’s second-largest city, should cut water usage to alleviate a severe shortage hitting the country’s industrial center.
The water authority in Nuevo Leon, the state where Monterrey is located, in early June cut water domestic use to just six hours a day, with swaths of the city left entirely without water, after an acute drought reduced supply to historic lows. The city’s population has also climbed dramatically in recent years without the investments needed to improve water reservoirs.
Asked about the water situation during his daily press conference, Lopez Obrador said companies should cut their production in the business-friendly state until the crisis blows over with rain expected in incoming weeks. Beer companies that have plants elsewhere in Mexico should boost production in their other facilities, he said.
“An agreement is needed in Nuevo Leon because preference should be given to domestic consumption,” AMLO, as the president is known, said. “In an emergency situation, priority must be given and we must serve the people, not give water to businesses.”
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As of 2018, businesses had concessions for 4% of the state’s water, according to the national water commission. Firms including Heineken NV, the world’s second-largest brewer, have temporarily given up part of the water alloted to them to help solve the crisis.
The state, which is governed by a rival party to Lopez Obrador’s Morena, is looking to improve its supply with more wells and dam capacity, while educating citizens on how to cut their own usage. AMLO said the federal government had already “transferred a good amount of resources” to the state to smoothen the shortage.
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