The Pitillal River Is Drying Up.

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Let's take care of the river by preventing siltation and conserving water in Puerto Vallarta

As every year, the dry season begins, and the most affected river by this phenomenon is the Pitillal River. The Pitillal River basin is one of the four most important in the region (Ameca-Mascota, Pitillal, Cuale, and Las Juntas), providing water to both local residents and tourists. It is formed through a mountainous area that extends for a large number of kilometers in the Sierra, a region considered a priority for conservation by the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) and the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) due to its extraordinary species richness and the important environmental services it provides to the region.

Since 2021, anthropogenic disturbances such as siltation have been occurring during this time, affecting the structural and functional components of riparian forests, compromising their ability to provide ecosystem services. This was done with the idea of preventing high river levels that could affect nearby residents during periods of extreme rainfall. They sought to quantify the loss of riparian forest cover to widen the river and thus reduce the chances of destruction. In doing so, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used in conjunction with land use and land cover change matrices to determine the extent, loss of vegetation cover, and impact at the time of siltation. The area silted was 6.93 hectares, of which 2.82 hectares (40.7%) were severely affected areas with total loss of vegetation cover; bare soil increased by 736%, and the recovery through the natural growth of herbs and shrubs was very slow after the damage caused.

Currently, 23% of Jalisco's territory is abnormally dry; 24.1% is in moderate drought; 36.6% is in severe drought, and 2.4% is in extreme drought. According to the monitoring, 17 municipalities in Jalisco are in abnormally dry conditions; 27 are in moderate drought, and 71% are in severe drought, with 8 municipalities in extreme drought, so, according to CONAGUA, 84.8% of Jalisco's municipalities are in drought conditions.

It is important to conserve water and be aware that there is still the remainder of March and the entire month of April for the "El Niño" phenomenon to continue with high temperatures, causing a great need for drinking water for the entire population of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of the limited amount of water available.