National water authority Conagua has declared an "exceptional" drought in northern Mexico, the worst recorded in at least a decade, Conagua director Luis Luege told a press conference.
"Since the 1990s, rainfall between January and October has averaged 644mm; however, Mexico's northern states have only seen 585mm of rain so far this year. "We are well below the average," said Luege.
To combat the drought, Conagua is launching a emergency action program to monitor water levels and provide solutions for the federal, state and municipal governments. The program will be published in the next two months, according to the authority's deputy technical director, Felipe Arreguín.
Measures will include a ban on planting that exceeds available water and an obligatory move to crops that require less water. "Water utilities must also improve water efficiency," Luege added.
Over half of the country, 54%, is currently suffering from drought and President Felipe Calderón has called for the implementation of an emergency program.