Regional Development

Making Water Reform Happen in Mexico


Making Water Reform Happen in Mexico | OECD Free preview | Powered by Keepeek Digital Asset Management Solution

ISBN Number: 9789264187672

Pages: 292

Publication date: 8/01/2013


In Mexico, the population is forecast to reach almost 150 million by 2050. Increasing levels of inequality along with the issues caused by climate change are expected to hit hard and exacerbate today's challenges. An additional 36 to 40 million Mexicans will require a water supply and sanitation systems by 2030. For all these reasons, water policy is becoming a national security issue.

This report provides evidence-based assessment and policy recommendations to support Mexico’s water reform. It analyses implementation bottlenecks and identifies good practices in four key areas considered as essential drivers for change in the water sector of Mexico: multi-level and river basin governance; economic efficiency and financial sustainability; and regulatory functions for water supply and sanitation.

The report highlights many positive achievements. Mexico does have a well-developed policy framework for water resource management with a number of institutions and policy instruments in place. But much remains to be done for effective, sustainable and integrated water policy. The report emphasises that policy implementation is uneven, river basin councils are not fully operational twenty years after their creation, the regulatory framework for drinking water and sanitation is scattered across multiple actors, and harmful subsidies in other sectors (energy, agriculture) clearly work against water policy objectives.

Efforts are particularly needed to increase water productivity and the cost-efficiency of water policies, address multi-level and river basin governance challenges (in particular to bridge inconsistencies between federal and basin priorities), sequence and prioritise reform needs, and support greater policy coherence with agriculture and energy.


Objectives of the Report

The OECD has been working with Mexico to provide evidence-based assessment, analytical guidance, and customised policy recommendations in support of its water policy reforms. The process was based on OECD tools, methodologies and frameworks, and involved high-level peer reviewers and experts from Australia, Brazil, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

The report:

  • identifies key co-ordination and capacity challenges across multiple stakeholders involved in water policy design, regulation and implementation, and suggest good practices in response to the institutional and territorial fragmentation;
  • identifies challenges hindering effective river basin governance, and shed light on good practices within Mexico (at river basin, aquifer level) and internationally for truly integrated water resources management
  • identifies challenges hindering the economic efficiency and financial sustainability of water policies, and suggest good practices to make the most of economic instruments
  • identifies challenges related to key regulatory functions for service provision, and suggest options for improvement and potential trade-offs based on the experience of countries with similar issues

The findings and recommendations published in the OECD report “Making Water Reform Happen in Mexico” are based on official data collected through an OECD questionnaire, available documents and discussions held with Mexican officials and a wide range of stakeholders during fact-finding missions and seminars.


Key findings

   Available to download


Table of contents

Executive summary

Assessment and recommendations

Introduction: Setting the scene

Chapter 1
Addressing multi-level governance challenges

Chapter 2
Strengthening river basin governance

Chapter 3
Improving economic efficiency and financial sustainability

Chapter 4
Institutionalising regulatory functions in the water and sanitation service sector

Chapter 5
Making water reform happen: A tentative implementation plan


Launch of the publication

The report was launched by OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría on 8 January 2013 in Mexico City, in the presence of the Mexican Minister for the Environment Juan José Guerra Abud and the Director General of the National Water Commission, David Korenfeld.


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How to buy this book

Readers can access the full version of Making Water Reform Happen in Mexico by choosing from the following options:



For more information, please contact Aziza Akhmouch: [email protected]


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