Mexico is a federal republic in North America and the thirteenth largest independent nation in the world, with over 113 million inhabitants.
Per capita water availability in the country has diminished from 18,000 m³ per capita per year in 1950 to 3,980 m³ in 2017. Almost 35 million Mexicans live under severe water scarcity conditions.
In the Greater Metropolitan Region of the Valley of Mexico, it is expected that water availability will be 136 m³/person/day by 2030, putting at risk the region’s water security. Groundwater represents the source for 37% of national water consumption, and yet 106 out of 635 aquifers are being overexploited. Mexico City’s aquifer –representing approximately 705 of its source of water – is being overexploited by 50% more than its replenishment rate. As a result, certain regions in the city are sinking up to 50 cm/year, causing damages of up to US$ 1,000 million every year.
There are two major drivers of the high demand for water in Mexico: agriculture and urbanization. Agriculture plays an important role in economic development in Mexico. It represents 8.4% of the GDP and supports income generation and poverty alleviation. However, agriculture is extremely water intensive in Mexico. In fact, Mexico’s agriculture sector consumes 76% of available water. Furthermore, disinvestment in irrigation infrastructure and unsustainable agricultural water practices have led to low water productivity in the sector.
Approximately 80% of Mexico’s population lives in cities. As urbanization increases, competition between water users will also intensify. Drawbacks in water utilities’ performance affect drinking water provision (especially in peri-urban and rural areas) and wastewater treatment as only 20% of wastewater is treated. Climate change adds great uncertainty, exacerbating an already complex combination of challenges.
The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) is a public, private, civil society partnership that supports country-level collaboration designed to unite diverse groups with a common interest in the sustainable management of water resources.