- Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants beer production in northern Mexico to stop due to drought.
- The drought in the country’s north has forced many people to fill buckets from water tankers.
- However, many industrial users are continuing to operate, the Financial Times reported.
Mexico’s president has called for an end to brewing beer for American drinkers in the north of the country due to drought conditions, the Financial Times reported.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador used a press conference on Monday this week to tell big brewers to stop operations due to the amount of water required to make beer. He urged them to brew in the south of Mexico, which has more water, but is further from the US market where most of Mexico’s beer is sold.
“This is not to say we’ll not produce any more beer, it’s to say that beer will not be produced in the north,” the FT reported.
Last month the Mexican government declared a national emergency, and said companies like Coca-Cola and Heineken would not extract so much water in the north.
However, activists told the FT that companies have largely continued their operations. Antonio Hernández said: “Industry not being impacted makes me think the availability of underground water isn’t in crisis.”
One academic said that industry accounts for less than 5% of water consumption in Nuevo León state, of which Monterrey is the capital, the newspaper reported.
According to data from its statistics agency, Mexico exported beer worth almost $5 billion in 2019, making it one of the world’s biggest exporters. Popular brands sold in the US that are made in Mexico include Heineken, Corona, and Dos Equis, according to YouGov.
Beer has become less popular in recent years but is still favored by 39% of US drinkers in 2021, according to Gallup data.
Northern Mexico is suffering one of the most severe droughts in recent memory, with some dams running out of water completely.
That has forced some people to fill buckets from water tankers and sparked protests in a bid to force government action, the FT reported.
Brenda Sánchez, a teacher living near Monterrey, told the newspaper: “We’ve gone up to two months without water.”
She said her family cooks, washes and bathes with the water they collect from a tanker that calls just once a week.