Mexico: Establishing effective and democratic water and sanitation (W&S) management in Mexico to support the achievement of the MDGs


Although the states of Chiapas, Tabasco and Veracruz account for most of Mexico's water resources, water and sanitation service coverage is very uneven due to socioeconomic factors, ethnicity and gender inequality. The aim of this Joint Programme was to improve the integrated management of water in peri-urban and rural areas of Mexico and to combat poverty from the standpoint of environmental sustainability and gender equality. The programme contributed to achieving MDGs 1, 3 and 7 by diminishing inequalities in accessing an essential resource, particularly for women and the poor.

The programme sought to enhance a culture of appropriate water use and its more efficient and effective management in order to reduce poverty, improve health and mitigate vulnerability to hydrometeorological disasters.

This was accomplished through the diffusion of appropriate technologies, better practices and social organization frameworks and techniques for the integrated use of W&S with a basin-based focus. The programme led to increased democratic governance, transparency and the participation of civil society in the integral management of W&S.

Main achievements included:

  • A study was carried out of the legal framework for water and sanitation at the national level and in the three states; vulnerability information systems were developed as well as analyses of the availability and access to water and of the health impact in the targeted municipalities. A diagnosis and risk assessment was also drawn up of the economic, financial and tariff impacts of providing safe water to the populations of the three states.
  • Incorporation of municipal water management consultations into legislation: In Tabasco, the State Water Law was revised and suggested reforms were presented to Congress for approval. In Chiapas, amendments were proposed to the Law on Water and Sustainability, with an emphasis on community management.
  • Support was given to develop plans for water and sanitation management and integrated water resources management in seven municipalities, as well as methodologies for local water safety plans and risk management. In the municipalities of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and Xalapa, systems were developed for monitoring transparency and performance indicators of organizations providing water services and sanitation.
  • Four models of healthy schools were constructed and delivered and a Citizen Guide was prepared for men and women from selected states to learn about and participate in the water sector.
Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Mexico (in Spanish).

The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 10 Dec 2008 - 08 May 2012
Net funded amount $5,998,220
National partners Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SER), Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), Secretaría de Salud, Comisión Nacional del Agua (CONAGUA), Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua (IMTA), Secretaría de Desarrollo Social (SEDESOL), Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA), Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CDI)
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