Warning that Mexico City is sinking to depths. In the last decade alone, Mexico City’s ground level has dropped by 20 inches per year. Mexico City was built after Lake Texaco was filled. At the same rate, many parts of the city are expected to sink to a depth of 100 feet in the next 150 years.
Mexico City is the largest metropolitan city in North America with a population of about 88 million. Three-quarters of the people who live here still depend on wells for drinking water. Underground under Mexico City, there are many rocks that can hold water called aquifers. It is believed that the city itself is being dragged down by the massive influx of water from such rocks.
This is not the first time Mexico City has been hit by a landslide. As early as 1900, Mexico City was found to be declining by about 3.5 inches per year. The drilling of tube wells for groundwater came under control in Mexico City in the 1950s. By then, the rate at which the ground level was going down was as high as 11 inches per year.
The city’s declining rate has been reduced due to restrictions on groundwater use. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. This phenomenon continued as the population and city grew. According to a study in the journal JGR Solid Earth, the city’s archeological sites are down 16 inches a year. It is now estimated that the northeastern part of Mexico City is shrinking by as much as 20 inches per year.
The study was conducted by American Mexican researchers using data from more than a century and GPS InSAR radar data. The main reason for the city’s decline is that groundwater use in the area has been lowering water levels for more than a century. As the water level decreases, so does the tightening of the groundwater ores. The clay layers beneath Mexico City alone have compressed by about 17 percent. The warning is that it could be up to 30 percent. If that happens, Mexico City will go 100 feet deep in the next 150 years.