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Science and Technology for Integrated Water Resources Management in Mexico

  • Álvaro A. Aldama
Chapter
Part of the Global Issues in Water Policy book series (GLOB, volume 20)

Abstract

The Global Water Partnership has defined Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) as “a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximize economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems and the environment.” To achieve the goals of IWRM, a number of tools must be used, among which science and technology play a crucial role, particularly in river basins where water conflicts are commonplace. Most often, conflict arises between upstream and downstream water users due to the resource scarcity. This has been the case of two of the most strategically important river basins in Mexico: the Lerma-Chapala basin and the Río Bravo/Río Grande basins. In the first of these cases, simulation and optimization models were used to build consensus between water users and to define a set of rules for the integrated operation on the system, according to water availability. In the second case, a number of innovations were introduced to accommodate the volume of water allocated to the USA in the water availability study, the development of a novel approach for monthly water budgets, and a statistical approach that explicitly recognizes trends, cyclical behavior, and randomness in the natural flow regime. These innovations have been adopted by water users in the Rio Bravo basin and have been used to define water policy in the region.

Keywords

River basin Integrated water resources management Water governance Science and technology Innovation Consensus building Lerma-Chapala basin Rio Bravo basin 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author wishes to recognize the National Water Commission, particularly Mario López, Manager of Engineering and Technical Standards, for allowing him to use some of the results of the Río Bravo Basin for the purposes of this publication. The author also wishes to thank his son Abraham Aldama, who is an economist and a political scientist and a Ph. D. Candidate at NYU, for the keen suggestions he made to improve the first two sections of this chapter. This work is dedicated to him.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Álvaro A. Aldama
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ConsultantJiutepecMexico

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