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Lake Chapala South of Guadalajara, Mexico

20.2N 103W

February 1st, 2013 Category: Lakes

Mexico – January 29th, 2013

Lake Chapala is the largest natural lake in Mexico, located 42 km south of the metropolitan area of Guadalajara (both visible in the upper left quadrant). Hydrologically, it belongs to the Rio Lerma Lago de Chapala Rio Santiago drainage system, one of the most important in Mexico. The main tributary, the Lerma River, supplies almost half of the water input, while the Santiago River drains the lake water to the Pacific Ocean.

The catchment area is large as compared with the lake area, amounting to 52,500 km2. Sixteen percent of this area drains directly into the lake via small streams and runoff, while the remainder belongs to the watershed of the Lerma River. The climate is moderate, tropical and sub-humid with a single summer rainy season. Winter rains are less than 5% of the annual precipitation. Average annual evaporation (1,910 mm) greatly exceeds annual precipitation (781 mm in average). Principal uses of the lake are irrigation, tourism, recreation and fisheries. In addition, it is the main water source for Guadalajara City with a population in excess of 4.5 million, whose water demands are increasing at a rate of 4% per year owing to urban, agricultural and industrial development.

Lake Chapala on the Mexican Plateau

20.2N 103.1W

June 4th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Mexico - June 1st, 2010

Mexico - June 1st, 2010

Lake Chapala is located in west-central Mexico. It lies on the Mexican Plateau at 6,000 feet (1,800 metres) above sea level in the states of Jalisco and Michoacán.

Chapala is Mexico’s largest lake, measuring approximately 48 miles (77 km) east-west by 10 miles (16 km) north-south and covering an area of 417 square miles (1,080 square km).

Despite its size, the lake is very shallow and is susceptible to infestations of water hyacinth. It is fed principally by the Lerma River from the east and is drained by the Río Grande de Santiago.