National Water Reserves Program in Mexico: Experiences with Environmental Flows and the Allocation of Water for the Environment

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Salinas Rodríguez, Sergio A.;
Martínez, Anuar;
Rosales Ángeles, Fabiana
Nov 2015
Ramirez, Gmelina;De la Peña, Maria Eugenia;Alcalá, Carolina
Mexico faces overexploitation of water resources in the country’s major economic productivity areas. This situation is causing a loss of biodiversity, limiting economic development and making society vulnerable to the uncertainty of climate change. The allocation and recovery of water for the environment is proposed as a means for climate change adaptation and the attainment of water security for Mexico. This process is based on the enforcement of the Mexican Norm of Environmental Flows (NMX-AA- 159-SCFI-2012) in 189 basins with potential water reserves for the environment and the establishment of anequal number of water reserves that would preserve 97 natural protected areas and 55 wetlands of international
importance (Ramsar). This document records the experiences and results of the program’s conceptualization phase and the start of the process with its implementation in six pilot areas. Given its relevance, this initiative has taken shape as the National Water Reserves Program, coordinated by the National Water Commission’s General Office for Technical Affairs, with the collaboration of the World Wildlife Fund-Gonzalo Río Arronte Foundation Alliance, and the participation of the National Natural Protected Areas Commission and support of the Inter-American Development Bank.