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GREAT NEWS for our very own Lake Chapala

08 | 05 | 2010

A view of Lake Chapala MexicoQuoting below from a recent article in the Colony Reporter, we can see abundant rainfall is filling up Lake Chapala during our current rainy season


Lake Chapala swells toward 32-year record


Experts keeping an eye on Mother Nature predict a bountiful 2010 rainy season that could push Lake Chapala close to maximum capacity for the first time in more than three decades. With heavy precipitation continuing through this week, flood and landslide alerts are out for the Chapala lakeshore and elsewhere in the region.

Just six weeks into the summer rainy season, the lake has already regained 77 centimeters in level, putting it on a par with the high mark registered last October.  By comparison, the lake rose just 39 cm. during the entire 2009 wet cycle. Lake Chapala tends to rise most dramatically from mid-August through late September.

Late last week, National Water Commission (Conagua) regional chief Raul Antonio Iglesias issued a personal prediction that the lake will rise an additional one to two meters this year, hitting above “Cota 97” on the lake elevation scale before the rains subside. It has not ascended to that mark since 1978.”

“Lake Chapala data - Conagua data for July 29 showed Chapala standing at 71.7 percent total holding capacity, with a water storage volume of 5.6 billion cubic meters (5,664 Mm3) at Cota 95.783. Lake water currently extends over a surface area of 111,561 hectares (ha.)

At 100 percent capacity the lake holds 7,897 Mm3 of water at Cota 97.80. The total measurement of the lakebed is 114,000 ha.

Figures for July 22, 2010 are the highest for that date in more than a decade.

Rainfall measurements recorded at Conagua’s Chapala weather station total more than 350 millimeters during this month. At press time, runoff from the Lerma River was gushing into the lake at a rate exceeding 200 cubic meters per second. The 11 principal dams located in the Lerma-Chapala watershed were registered at an average of nearly 80 percent holding capacity, compared to just over 50 percent one year ago.”

Do you know what the National Bird of Mexico is called?

National Bird of Mexico is called the Cara Cara

Note: Can you see the likeness of the bird in the lush green mountainside? Mexico’s National Bird is called the Cara Cara and those of us living in Lake Chapala like to think that Mexico’s National Bird is on guard looking after Lake Chapala. Given the abundance of rainfall this season, it appears our cara cara is doing a great job.

Because of the cara cara's abilities to both scavenge and hunt, and its remarkably regal stature, they were highly esteemed by the Mayan and Aztecs, as well as other indigenous cultures of Meso-America. High priests and kings wore ceremonial headdresses and capes made from the plumage of cara caras and claws were adorned as jewelry by South American and Central American native people. 


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