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One of the world’s most populated cities faces imminent water shortage as residents go without for days or weeks

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One of the world’s most populated cities, Mexico City, is facing a dire water crisis that is rapidly escalating. With nearly 22 million residents, the city is on the verge of a “day zero” scenario where the water supply will no longer be able to meet the needs of its people.

According to the Water Basin Organization of the Valley of Mexico, there are fears that the Cutzamala System, the main source of water for the city, will not have enough water for residents starting from June 26 until September. Already, many locals are enduring severe water shortages, going for days, if not weeks, without running water in their homes.

The situation has become so critical that even basic daily activities like washing cars or watering gardens have been restricted to conserve water. Residents like Juan Ortega have resorted to recycling water from washing machines to meet their basic needs.

Businesses in the city are also feeling the impact of the water shortage. Arturo Gracia, a coffee shop owner, shared that his business has to pay for a water truck to supply essential water for toilets and other uses. The scarcity of water is affecting multiple neighborhoods in the city.

Adding to the crisis is the recent high temperatures that Mexico City has been experiencing, with temperatures reaching nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This has put additional strain on the already diminishing water supply. Rafael Carmona, the director of SACMEX, labeled the situation as “unprecedented” due to the lack of rainfall in the region over the past few years.

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Poor water management practices and a high population density have further worsened the crisis. Underground leaks account for a significant amount of wasted water in the city, with up to 40% of the water loss attributed to leaks. Efforts to fix these leaks have been initiated, but the challenge remains immense.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has assured that the government is working towards increasing the water supply to prevent a “day zero” scenario this year. However, some experts believe that without significant changes and improvements in water management, such a crisis could be a looming threat in the coming years.

The broader impact of the water shortage is felt across Mexico, with many parts of the country experiencing severe drought conditions. The lack of rainfall and low water storage in dams have placed the entire country at risk of water scarcity.

As Mexico City braces itself for a potential water crisis, it is evident that urgent action is needed to address the underlying issues causing the shortage. With the risk of “day zero” looming, the city must prioritize sustainable water management practices and conservation efforts to ensure a reliable water supply for its residents.

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The Contribution of Volcanoes to Venus’s Atmospheric Composition

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One of the many mysteries surrounding Venus, our closest planetary neighbor, is the origin of its atmosphere. The planet is veiled in thick clouds, making it challenging to study its surface and atmospheric composition. However, scientists have long speculated about the role of volcanoes in shaping Venus and adding to its atmosphere. With approximately 85,000 volcanoes on Venus, the idea of active volcanic activity is a topic of interest and debate among researchers.

A recent paper by European researchers explores the question of whether Venus has active volcanism through two approaches. The first approach considers whether Venus can maintain its current atmospheric composition without additional gases from volcanic emissions. The variability of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere over decades has been cited as potential evidence of ongoing volcanism. However, some scientists suggest that other factors, such as surface-atmosphere interactions or atmospheric dynamics, could also contribute to this variability.

The second approach focuses on identifying transient effects in Venus’ atmosphere that could indicate active volcanism. These effects could range from water vapor to particulate matter like volcanic ash. Data on these phenomena has been limited, primarily collected through remote sensing missions. However, upcoming missions to Venus, such as DAVINCI and EnVision, aim to provide more direct measurements and insights into the planet’s atmosphere.

DAVINCI, equipped with spectrometers and high-tech cameras, will gather data in Venus’ lower atmosphere to detect trace volcanic gases. It will also analyze ionic concentrations to indicate volcanic outgassing. EnVision, another mission, will focus on studying gases higher up in the atmosphere using various spectroscopic techniques to unravel mysteries in Venus’ cloud tops.

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While current missions offer valuable tools for studying Venus’ atmosphere, there are limitations to consider. For instance, an infrasound sensor could directly detect volcanic eruptions, but no missions currently include this technology. Despite these challenges, researchers are optimistic about the new insights these missions could bring to the ongoing debate on Venus’ volcanic activity.

With the earliest mission, DAVINCI, set to launch in approximately five years, scientists have time to refine their hypotheses and theories about Venus. The data collected during these missions could finally provide conclusive evidence regarding the presence of active volcanism on Venus, answering a long-standing question about our neighboring planet.

As researchers eagerly await the results from upcoming missions, the scientific community is hopeful that these endeavors will shed light on the enigmatic nature of Venus and its mysterious atmosphere. By leveraging advanced technologies and innovative approaches, scientists are poised to unravel the secrets of Venus and potentially redefine our understanding of planetary volcanism.

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