Water reserves decreed in Mexico before election


Confluence of the Usumacinta and Grijalva Rivers in the Mexican state of Tabasco’s Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve, one of the ecosystems that scientists hope will benefit from the new policy to ensure environmental flows in drainage basins. (WWF/Daniel Bravo)

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on June 6 issued a set of decrees that establish water reserves for hundreds of the country’s drainage basins. Officials say the measures will protect water supplies for millions of Mexicans for 50 years, but some critics are instead portraying them as a water grab carried out for the benefit of special interests. The decrees, based on a nationwide study of environmental flows, have been presented as a means of ensuring that water drawn for human needs does not exceed the levels required to sustain each basin’s ecosystem. But some activists say the measures effectively make water available to industrial interests at the expense of the environment and of local—particularly indigenous—communities. Objections to the new policy, including the... [Log in to read more]

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