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Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico: Challenges for Basin Management


In this chapter we will review the importance of water resources, the development of the Mexican public policy (within the framework of water management), the risk to which availability is subject (in the face of climate change scenarios), and how, in front of a differentiated approach by basins and ecosystems, can be a model, from actions of adaptation and conservation of the functionality of the basins, for the reduction of water vulnerability and a crosscutting element of public policies in Mexico, which allows to adapt to climate change and meet the international commitments that Mexico has signed.
Chapter 14
Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water
Resources in Mexico: Challenges for Basin
Eduardo Ríos Patrón, Daniel Iura González Terrazas,
and Ignacio Daniel González Mora
Abstract In this chapter we will review the importance of water resources, the
development of the Mexican public policy (within the framework of water
management), the risk to which availability is subject (in the face of climate change
scenarios), and how, in front of a differentiated approach by basins and ecosystems,
can be a model, from actions of adaptation and conservation of the functionality of
the basins, for the reduction of water vulnerability and a crosscutting element of
public policies in Mexico, which allows to adapt to climate change and meet the
international commitments that Mexico has signed.
Keywords Water resources · Vulnerability · Basin management · Climate change
14.1 Introduction
Water is and has been the fundamental basis for life and development, considering
that it is necessary to support biogeochemical processes, which preserve the
ecosystems that are a source of direct and indirect benets for human societies. It
is also a necessary input for the functioning of cities as well as industrial processes
and food production. However, the uncertainty of a relative scarcity level regarding
its existence, use, and renewal represents a major challenge toward the larger
E. Ríos Patrón (*)
Mexican Network of Hydrographic Basins (Remexcu), Ministry of Environment and Natural
Resources (SEMARNAT), Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
D. I. González Terrazas
National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), CdMx, Ciudad de México, México
I. D. González Mora
Mexican Network of Hydrographic Basins (Remexcu), World Wildlife Fund (WWF México),
CdMx, Ciudad de México, México
©Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
H. R. Guerrero García Rojas (ed.), Water Policy in Mexico, Global Issues in Water
Policy 20,
demand of the vital liquid, as a consequence of an increasing population and an
increase in the levels of production and new satisers. Additionally, climate change
and its differentiated impacts, which intensify year after year, are enhanced by an
inadequate management of the territory in the basins of Mexico.
Reducing impacts on natural and human systems due to changes in the availabil-
ity of the water resource as a result of climate change and territory management is a
national challenge that aligns with recent global agendas that have emerged as a
recognition of the global priority of accelerating and guiding the actions of nations
toward a sustainable development. This way, the 2030
Agenda emerges, with
17 sustainable development objectives, as well as the Paris Agreement
for preventing the planet from increasing the average global temperature in more
than 2 C from the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG); and if it cannot be done,
there would be huge economic, social, and environmental impacts.
Besides this international commitments signed by Mexico and which are system-
atically reected in the national public policies and regulatory framework; there is
the constitutional recognition that everyone has the right to water access, disposal
and sanitation for personal and domestic consumption, in a sufcient, safe, accept-
able and affordable manner,
which, in front of a climate change context, represents
a huge commitment of the state for achieving the effective fulllment of such human
This huge commitment implies the relevance of the design and implementation of
integral and regional public policies that in a synergic manner and, from scientic
information in an effective framework of participation and governance, consider
(i) attention of vulnerability to climate change from the strengthening of local and
national capabilities; (ii) integration and strengthening of the preservation policy to
increase resilience from the functional maintenance and improvement of water
resource production zones; (iii) the strengthening of early warning systems (SAT
Sistema de Alerta Temprana) and the integrated risk management; and (iv) the
insertion of the basin approach in public policies from the development of norms,
In September 2015, more than 150 heads of state and government met in the Sustainable
Development Summit in New York, EU at UN headquarters, where the 2030 Agenda was
approved. This Agenda includes 17 universal application objectives that, since January 1, 2016,
govern the efforts of the countries to achieve a sustainable world in 2030 (Source: http://www.un.
The Paris Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015, in the 21st, session of the Conference of
the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in
Paris, France. The Paris Agreement came into force on November 4, 2016. One hundred ninety-ve
out of 197 parties of the UNFCCC signed the Agreement, and 169 have already ratied it (Source:
The recognition of this human right was added by a Decree, published in the Ofcial Gazette of the
Federation on February 8, 2012, in the sixth paragraph of Article 4 of the Political Constitution of
the United Mexican States (Source:
284 E. Ríos Patrón et al.
programs, and projects linking supply and demand of water environmental services
under climate change scenarios and anticipate actions for their maintenance
over time.
Climate change is evident and unequivocal, and its consequences are an unprec-
edented challenge for the design and implementation of public policies for water
resources management in Mexico. This challenge implies adapting and generating
governance conditions to changes in water availability, as well as against an increase
in extreme meteorological events and its consequences, from the acknowledgement
of basins functionality and the relation of hydrological environmental services
(SAH) with the local and regional economic, social, and environmental dynamics.
Maintaining the SAH implies the improvement of human well-being and the reduc-
tion in the vulnerability of human and natural systems toward hydrometeorological
phenomena and must come from (i) inserting the basin integral approach in the
planning and implementation of actions for the preservation and restoration of
ecosystems, (ii) inserting the design and effective use of early warning systems,
and (iii) exploiting the synergies of coordination platforms posed by existing laws on
water and climate change, in order to face the consequences of climate change in the
basins in Mexico and to reduce the vulnerability by collaborating and articulating
efforts in different scales and levels.
14.1.1 Water Resources in Mexico
Only 0.77% of total water in the world is estimated as accessible to human beings as
fresh water (CONAGUA 2016); nevertheless, it is subject to high pressures as a
result of a continuous increase in the demand, contamination, and climate
change. Facing these pressures in quality and quantity of the vital liquid, the
World Water Development Report 2017 concludes that it would be unthinkable
not to take advantage of the opportunities of a better management of waste water
(WWAP 2017), and obviously, this better management implies an integrated
management approach considering the basin as a convenient territory for water
management resources.
Mexico, within its 1959 million km
continental surface, has 1471 watersheds
(INEGI-INE-CONAGUA 2007) integrating a 633 thousand kilometer network of
rivers and streams. Among those, 1389 are exorheic basins owing into some point
of its 11,122 kilometers of coastline; 77 are endorheic and 5 arheic in the Yucatan
Peninsula, sharing 8 basins with neighboring countries, 4 with Guatemala (Grijalva-
Usumacinta, Suchiate, Coatan, and Candelaria), 1 with Belize and Guatemala
(Hondo River), and 3 with the USA (Bravo, Colorado, and Tijuana). It has 653 aqui-
fers that supply 38.9% of the volume for consumptive uses, 105 of those are
overexploited, 32 with the presence of saline soils and brackish water, and 18 with
seawater intrusion (CONAGUA 2016).
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 285
According to data from the National Water Commission, Mexico receives around
1,449,471 million square meters of water as rainfall. From this water, 72.5% is
evapotranspired back to the atmosphere, 21.2% drains through rivers or streams, and
the remaining 6.3% naturally inltrates to the subsoil recharging aquifers. Taking
into account output (exportations) and input (importations) water ows with
neighboring countries, the country has 446,777 million cubic meters of renewable
freshwater, data estimated for 2015, giving an availability of 3592 cubic meters per
inhabitant per day.
However, there are large temporary and spatial variations in the territory, requir-
ing an analysis per basin to characterize and to identify the particular situation of the
water resource, since in the northern and central regions of the country, there is less
water availability, more contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP), and
larger population, while the southern area of the country presents a larger water
availability, lesser contribution to the GDP, and less population. Besides, it is worth
noting that each basin presents unique socioecosystemic characteristics, and hence
the management should be differentiated and reected in water and climate change
In 2015, a volume of 266,559 million cubic meters was in concession, 180,895 of
which were for non-consumptive use (which does not affect the volume), that is, for
hydroelectric use, and 85,664 million cubic meters for consumptive uses (the
difference between extracted and discharged volume while conducting an activity).
The water source of the latter was 37.9% of underground origin and 61.1% of
supercial origin (CONAGUA 2016). Available water in the country requires
satisfying the population growing demands of about 120 million inhabitants and a
globally integrated economy with strong pressure on production and consumption in
a climate change context.
14.1.2 Climate Change and Vulnerability: Commitments
of Mexico
The Agreement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
reached in Paris, France, in December 2015 recognizes climate change as an urgent
and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet(Naciones
Unidas 2015).
It is evident and unequivocal that the planet has presented a 0.85 C increase in
average temperature
that the Arctic ice extension in the North Pole is being lost
between 3.5% and 4.1% each decade,
that glaciers have decreased at a rate of
Measure conducted from 1850 to 2012.
Measure conducted from 1972 to 2012; this means that just in the last 10 years, 3.5 million km
have been lost.
286 E. Ríos Patrón et al.
275 giga tons per year,
and that the sea level has globally increased 0.18 m.
Likewise, the evidence is compelling, and carbon dioxide (CO
), methane (CH
and nitrogen oxide (N
O) have demonstrated an increase of 40, 150, and 20%,
respectively, since 1750.
At the same time, an increase in the industrial activity has
caused that almost 30% of carbon dioxide is absorbed by oceans causing acidica-
tion (Conde 2016; IPCC2013). It is also alarming to conrm year after year a new
maximum temperature record; the global mean temperature for the period between
January and September 2017 was 0.470,08 C warmer than 19812010 mean
(estimated in 14.31 C), which represents a temperature increase of around 1,1 C
from the beginning of the preindustrial period (OMM 2017). These changes in the
global climate system have important and differentiated local impacts, especially in
Mexico, which is a country that due to its geographic location and social conditions
is especially vulnerable to climate change.
Climate change in Mexico is also evident and unequivocal, and its impacts are
already being noted. Thus, according to data from the National Institute of Ecology
and Climate Change (INECC), in a little more than 100 years terrestrial and marine
surface temperatures have increased in all the territory, however, in certain areas in
the north of the country, changes have been greater, ranging from 1.2 and 1,5 C
above its historical average.The global warming observed is joined by an increase
in the number of extreme hot days and a decrease in extreme freezing days and frost.
All this is added with the impact of a growing number of extreme hydrometeoro-
logical phenomena, as tropical cyclones and hurricanes. Between 1970 and 2013,
10 out of 22 category 3 cyclones in the Safr-Simpson scale that affected the Pacic
and Atlantic coasts of Mexico occurred in the last 12 years. In the case of droughts,
so far this century, ve important events have occurred between 2000 and 2003, in
2006, between 2007 and 2008, in 2009, and between 2010 and 2012. In some cases,
drought has been so severe that it has affected large extensions in the country, as in
2011, when 90% of the territory was affected.
Sea level has also been raised in
many coastal areas in Mexico. Seventeen sites were studied in the Gulf of Mexico
and the Pacic, between 1950 and 2000, standing out the elevations observed in
Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas (up to 9.16 millimeters per year) and Guaymas, in
Sonora (4.23 millimeters per year)(INECC 2015).
According to INECC in Mexico, for the near horizon 20152039, annual tem-
peratures 2 C above in the north, and between 1 and 1.5 C, are estimated in most of
the territory. On average, the forecast is an average reduction between 10 and 20% in
rainfall (INECC 2015); these scenarios require action and the development of
Measure conducted from 1993 to 2009. A giga equals 10
or 1,000,000,000 (thousand million).
Measure conducted from 1901 to 2010. At a 1.7 mm/year rate in 19012010, 2.0 mm/year between
1971 and 2010, and 3.2 mm/year in 19932010.
Percentage of increase of CO
, and N
O from 1750 to 2011.
From this situation 74% of the territory presented severe, 47% extremely, and 22% exceptional
drought. See
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 287
comprehensive public policies that allow us to reduce damage from an effective
management of the water resource.
Within the commitments derived from the Paris Agreement, an adaptation com-
ponent to climate change is included. The non conditional commitments of Mexico
to 2030 are to (i) reduce the high vulnerability of at least 160 municipalities
considered as very vulnerable to climate change, (ii) reach a zero deforestation rate
and strengthen actions for the protection and restoring of ecosystems, and (iii)
generate prevention and early warning systems before extreme hydrometeorological
14.2 Response Strategies to Changes in Water Availability
Associated to Climate Change
Climate change can be interpreted either as a compelling problem that threatens
biodiversity and world population or as a factor that aggravates the effects of other
existing threats. In this sense, climate change affects the provision of water resources
in the ecosystems, by modifying rainfall and temperature patterns. For instance, with
the reduction of forests and the increase of urban land use, the eco-hydrological
functionality of basins is modied, and the water provision for society and ecosys-
tems is reduced in a faster manner in the context of climate change (Ríos et al. 2016).
Impacts on rainfall and temperature variations have an effect on the components
of the hydrological cycle, in runoff, evaporation and inltration, as well as in the
intensity and frequency of extreme hydrometeorological phenomena and their con-
sequences as droughts and oods.
The strategies for responding to water avail-
ability changes associated to climate change must be designed to ensure the water
balance of the basin, either by improving inltration processes and reducing ood,
by decreasing runoffs velocity, or by recovering the catchment functionality of land
ecosystems and lotic and lentic systems. To reach the improvement of hydrologic
functionality, it is important to have the information of rainfall and temperature
scenarios, as well as their impact in the water balance components for proper actions
and decision-making. It is essential to consider differentiated strategies before such
scenarios of water abundance or scarcity, with drought or ooding risks, or with
water increase or decrease for the development of economic activities in the basins of
Mexico. Strategies should also link from the knowledge of water balance consid-
ering different rainfall and temperature scenarios trends in water resource use or
demand for the activities of the basin and the actual offer, in order to determine
impact mitigation strategies in an advanced and concerted manner, through a
participation process promoting present and future governance.
288 E. Ríos Patrón et al.
Mexico, particularly, has established international commitments with important
challenges in climate change adaptation, which emerge from three differentiated
strategies (INECC 2015):
Adaptation of the social sector to climate change
Adaptation based on ecosystems
Adaptation of productive systems and strategic infrastructure
Integrated management of basins implies an understanding of a certain region
functioning, its ecosystems, and socioeconomic processes that take place in there. In
this manner, anticipated and well-informed strategies can be developed to implement
measures of adaptation, considering possible vulnerabilities of the population and
ecosystems (Lampis 2013). Planning, based on scientic evidence, may contribute
in the reduction of vulnerability in front of local impacts of climate change, ensuring
decision-makers have the ability and information needed for the prevention and
adaptation to changes associated to this phenomena.
Strategies for the reduction of water vulnerability to climate change imply a
search for sustainable development, which, cannot be achieved without a world
with safe water, A safe water world appropriates the productive power of water and
minimizes its destructive force(GWP 2017). In a climate change context, water
security implies (i) having clean, sufcient, and affordable water for a healthy life
and responding to the human right for water access and sanitation; (ii) protecting the
community from ooding, droughts, landslides, erosion, and water-related diseases;
(iii) addressing environmental protection and the negative effects of a bad manage-
ment; and (iv) eliminating the fragmenting responsibility of an integrated manage-
ment of water resources in all sectors. Integration must be the core of the strategy and
should be supported in good governance.
14.2.1 Water Resource as an Integrating Axis in Territorial
Management: An Approach from Basin Management
A way to understand that water resources management is subject to territorial
management is through the basin approach. This involves making explicit the
relation among territories and users of high and low basins, considering all generated
impacts resulted from activities in the high basin toward the lower side, and
recognizing the services that ecosystems provide to the basin (Sanjurjo et al.
2017). In these territories, there is a spatial and temporary interrelation and
interdependence among the biophysical surrounding (aquatic and terrestrial ecosys-
tems, crops, water, biodiversity, geomorphological and geological structure), appro-
priation modes (technology and/or markets), and institutions (social organization,
culture, regulations, and/or laws) (Cotler et al. 2013).
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 289
Hydrographic basins are considered the basic territorial unit for planning and
managing natural resources and as a spatial and temporary dimension for the
adaptation to climate change (Biestroek et al. 2009; SEMARNAT-INECC 2013).
The watershed approach is considered both in the National Waters Law (LAN), in
the acknowledgement of water resources management units, in the preservation of
the hydrologic cycle in the territory, and in water availability and governance, and in
the General Law on Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA) to
guarantee the sustainability of economic activities through ofcial Mexican norms in
environmental issues, for the sustainable achievement of natural resources, as well as
to prevent contamination, fundamentally. But its articulation is an area of opportu-
nity in the Mexican regulations. Basin has been relevant in water planning and
management issues, but not in the regulation of territorial management from the
perspective of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in permanent interaction, which
provide ecosystemic services needed for the well-being of human societies. In this
sense, water has been treated as a material resource and not as an asset that results
from the functionality and integrity of terrestrial and aquatic socio-ecosystems.
14.3 Analysis of Demand and Supply of Hydrological
Environmental Services (SAH)
A way to change the wrong approach of considering water as a resource with no
territorial connection is through the incorporation of the supply and demand analysis
of hydrological environmental services, identifying in detail the contribution of
hydrological and ecosystemic processes in water productionfor socioeconomic
activities in a basin facing different scenarios of climate change. This necessarily
involves the implementation of the basin approach, the functional link of territorial
management, as well as the zone prioritization for its preservation and protection.
This approach of linking supply and demand of water resources, from areas where
physical, chemical, and biological processes are involved for the functioning of the
hydrological dynamics of a basin, includes reducing risks and maintaining and
improving the quality and quantity of water in a climate change context, so it should
be a common approach at the local level for conducting the management of water
resources. Fulllment requires the strengthening national and local capabilities, from
entities that plan, participate, and coordinate the water policy and climate change
290 E. Ríos Patrón et al.
14.3.1 Evolution of the Instruments of Environmental Policy
in Mexico that Promote Conservation and Sustainable
Use of the Hydrological Environmental Services
In Mexico, environmental protection is directly bonded with the social function
notion of private property, substituting property as an absolute right: it is expressed
in the 1917 Constitution, where the principle of use and conservation of natural
resources is introduced, particularly in constitutional Article 27, Section 3, where the
foundations for the territorial planning of the nation are mentioned:
the necessary measures shall be declared to order human settlements and to establish proper
provisions, uses, reserves, the purpose for lands, waters, and forests, in order to execute
public works and to plan and regulate funds, conservation and improvement, and growth of
population centers; to preserve and restore the ecological balance
The rst manifestations of territorial planning considering water resource appear
in the postrevolutionary times for infrastructure reconstruction, with a boost on
agriculture, developing an integrating vision of regional planning (Calderon 2001).
In 1947, during the presidential administration of Miguel Alemán, and seeking an
impulse on the agricultural and industrial development of the country, the rst
hydrographic basin commission was created, the Tepalcatepec River basin, depen-
dent of the Ministry of Water Resources in charge of planning and conducting the
necessary works for the integral development of natural resources in that basin.
However, efforts were minimal in relation to the industrial-urban tax model of the
following 30 years, when industrial growth policies began around Mexico City and
regional economy poles. In the administration of Luis Echeverría (19701976), the
so-called specic regional planning begins (Calderón 2001; Gasca 2009), based on
the generation of sectoral productivity policies, the socioeconomic planning strate-
gies on territorial basis boosted decentralization efforts, and Gasca (2009) refers to
this period as the golden ageof planning. However, recurring crises from de la
Madrid administration (19821988) caused by the mobility of oil prices, the ight of
capital, economic slowdown, and high ination forced the Mexican state to sign
international loans, deregulate planning processes, and privatize key sectors, actions
that initiated a phase of neoliberal policies (Gasca 2009). Decentralized efforts of the
public administration were blocked; there was a dismantling process of the
institutional structure and programs focused on territorial planning, a loophole that
remained in subsequent administrations.
Nevertheless, in the evolution of the environmental policy framework,
by an evident degradation of natural systems and an increase in population, it is from
the last quarter in the twentieth century that the development of territorial planning
instruments oriented to evaluating the satisfaction degree of the social demand from
In Mexico, this has been widely described by experts in judicial (Brañes 2004; Azuela 2006a,b;
Quintana 2009) and administrative systems (Rosete 2006).
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 291
the evaluation of offer provided by the environment from a territorial perspective, in
terms of goods, services, and spaces, began, the latter with the sole purpose of
promoting a sustainable development.
Regarding environmental services
to consolidate this approach in laws and
Mexican normativity, instruments whose objective is to maintain functional interre-
lations of the landscape elements that intervene in the offer of these services through
conservation, restoration, protection, and sustainable use of environmental policies
have been materialized. Among the policy instruments that address the continuity of
environmental services in space and time are: the National Development Plan
(PND), and within the same, Sectoral Programs like the one of Environment and
Natural Resources (PROMARNAT) and the Water National Program (PNH), envi-
ronmental General Laws and deriving programs with a direct effect on the territory.
In this sense, the incorporation of the basin approach is a milestone in Mexican
environmental policy
as one of the main strategies to comply with two of the
PROMARNAT 20132018 objectives, strengthening integral and sustainable man-
agement and guaranteeing access to the population and ecosystems and recovering
basins and landscapes functionality through conservation, restoration, and sustain-
able appropriation of the natural heritage, objectives that are directly related to the
safeguard of environmental services demanded by the population, ecosystems, and
productive activities. PNH 20142018, based on basins and aquifers, proposes the
objectives of strengthening integrated and sustainable water management, increasing
water security toward droughts and oods, and strengthening water supply and
access to drinking water, sewerage, and sanitation services.
Regarding General Laws, in terms of synchrony of precepts and operational
instruments with territorial incidence for the conservation of environmental services,
the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection is worth
noting (LGEEPA 1998). In the absence of clear legal rules and norms of the rural
territory use, and specically of conservation-minded territory, in 1987 the consti-
tutional Article 27 was amended by adding preserving and restoring the ecological
balance.Subsequently, LGEEPA was published explicitly incorporating in a
Chapter the Sustainable development of water and aquatic ecosystems.
LGEEPA focuses on environmental planning, through diverse modalities of
its ruling instrument, the Territorial Ecological Ordering (OET); inducing or
regulating out of the population centers, land uses to protect the environment
Regarding the denition of the National Waters Law, it is understood that social interest benets
are generated or emerge from hydrological basins and its components, such as climate regulation,
hydrological cycle conservation, erosion control, ooding control, aquifer recharge, runoffs
maintaining in quality and quantity, soil formation, carbon capture, purication of water bodies,
as well as conservation and protection of biodiversity.
Conceptual and methodological framework which considers characteristics related to the func-
tionality of hydrographical. Especially (i) the relation among users and high and low basin territory,
(ii) cumulative impacts devastated by rivers and streams, and (iii) the consideration of water
quantity, quality, and temporality as an indicator of territorial management (PROMARNAT
292 E. Ríos Patrón et al.
and preserve, restore and appropriate natural resources in a sustainable manner,
basically by conducting productive activities and locating human settlements. In
this sense, it is the rst time in the history of Mexican environmental policy that
the national development goals are harmonized, environmental legislation and a
bonding instrument with territorial incidence, represented by the OET in its local
feature, to safeguarding balance between supply and demand of environmental
services, especially those related to water resources. However, facing the climate
change threat, the short-term challenge is to adequate the design of this instru-
ment considering (i) thresholds or limits in ecosystems use, (ii) relations of
hydrographic connectivity between environmental services supply and demand
zones for the prioritization of conservation zones, and (iii) possible impacts
related to pattern changes of the climate that might compromise the functionality
of ecosystems and, as a consequence, the associated environmental services.
14.4 Adaptation and Management of Basins: A Strategy
to the Reduction of Vulnerability to Climate Change
Impacts on the Water Resource
The most immediate effect of climate change is an increase in temperature and
alteration of the hydrological cycle with the consequent reduction in rainfall but also
an increase in extreme hydrometeorological phenomena.
Undeniably, adapting to climate change is to protect water sources and to maintain
water availability for future generations. The impact of climate change on natural water
sources can be characterized by an alteration in water quality (e.g., by pollutants,
temperature, or dissolved oxygen), water quantity, and the pattern of its cycles (in the
regular periods of drought and oods). Worldwide, alterations in the seasonal pattern of
water might be the most important consequence for human beings and other species.
Unfortunately, this might be also the most uncertain variable according to diverse
general circulation models. Hence, water policy should be focused in sub-annual
changes, for instance, per season or per month. On the other hand, uncertainty should
be no excuse for non-acting (Mathews and Le Quesne 2009).
In Mexico, water availability in the 757 water basins or water management units
is published every year and considers no sub-annual or monthly periods, which
constitutes an opportunity area for a better integrated management of water
resources. In this sense, the Mexican ofcial norm of availability (NOM-011-
CONAGUA-2015) and the Mexican norm of ecological ow determinations
(NMX-AA-159-SCFI-2012), whose purpose is the ecological conservation of basins
and which can be used to know inter-annual periods of variation, shall be harmo-
nized. Publishing the annual availability of all basins in the country has been a
breakthrough in water management in Mexico, yet allows non-sufcient detail to
have an adaptive management up to the challenge of climate change.
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 293
Adaptation to climate change is the process that allows reducing the vulnerability
of population, ecosystems, and its environmental services through the adjustment in
human and natural systems as a response to projected or actual stimuli. Examples of
adjustments include the reduction in the consumption of water to compensate low
rainfall indexes, movement of a certain industry in an area with a drought growing
trend toward a more humid region, or the modication in the morphology of the
urban current to compensate for larger and more frequent ooding. Perhaps the
biggest threat of climate change for freshwater aquifers is the interaction between
those relatively traditionalproblems, like excessive extraction or habitat fragmen-
tation, and those promoted by climate alterations, like the most frequent droughts
(Matthews and Le Quesne 2009). In this sense, the vulnerability analysis to climate-
associated problems is the rst step toward triggering adaptation processes through
the identication of:
Who or what is vulnerable?
What makes it vulnerable?
Where in the territory is that vulnerability expressed?
Thus, in order to reduce climate change vulnerability through adaptation actions,
basin integral management must be the approach that transcends Mexican manage-
ment public policies to maintain ecosystemic services and reach its co-responsible
compensation under participation and governance schemes. Under this principles,
water management should be based upon instruments as regulated areas and their
corresponding regulations and water reserves (Arts. 38, 39, and 41 from LAN and
7376, 78, and 79 from LAN Regulation), which permit the establishment of
administrative actions to those who do not respect the guidelines for a sustainable
management of the resource. In this manner, authority acts can be executed to
promote and monitor the application of adaptation measures to climate change in
water management and its availability in hydrological basins.
14.4.1 Vulnerability Analysis of Populations, Economic
Activities, Infrastructure, and Natural Capital
to Changes in Water Availability
As a result of its physiographic, bioclimatic, and social characteristics, Mexico is a
country particularly vulnerable to climate change. Mexican territory is distributed in
the interface between Neartic and Neotropical ecozones; it has direct inuence from
two oceans, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacic Ocean, with 11.122 km of coastline
and 150 municipalities with coastal front, which constitutes approximately 21% of
the continental surface in the country. It also presents four out of ve main types of
climate, dry (type B), humid-temperate (type C), humid-cold (type D), and polar (E);
thus heterogeneous climatic conditions have been developed which can be translated
into high endemism and ecosystem particularities that could be sensitive to changes
294 E. Ríos Patrón et al.
in the hydrological response associated to climate change. Regarding human popu-
lation, in 1950, a little less of 43% of the population in Mexico lived in urban areas,
in 1990 it was 71%, and in 2010 this gure increased to almost 78% (INEGI 2010).
This concentration in urban centers trend has been joined with a signicant services
demand, especially in water supply for urban, agricultural, and industrial public use.
In the context of climate uncertainty, degradations of soils and forests, and high
social inequity, the relation between supply and demand of the water resource is
seriously compromised. Therefore, it is essential to identify differential vulnerabil-
ities in the territory for the design of targeting and prioritization strategies of actions
to safeguarding in time and space, the offer of the water resource from ecosystems.
The analysis of climate change vulnerability identies (i) the main problems in the
territory derived from climate, (ii) objects that will or potentially will be affected by these
problems, (iii) intrinsic (of the object) and extrinsic (of the territory) characteristics that
increase or reduce the impact of previously identied problems, and (iv) the relevant unit
of analysis according to the problem and the vulnerable object.
In this sense, the analysis of the vulnerability in a context between supply and
demand of environmental services must locate in space and identify the relations of
the landscape elements that intervene in the functional relations emerged from these
services, as well as the consumption strategies of the demanding objects. In this
context, vulnerability to climate change is understood as the degree of susceptibility
or inability of a system to face the adverse effects of climate change and, especially,
to climate variability and extreme phenomena. Vulnerability will depend on the
exposure of a system to the character, magnitude and speed of climate change, and
its sensitivity and adapting capabilities. Thus, vulnerability is a function of three
components(IPCC 2007).
Vulnerability ¼f(Exposition +Sensitivity Adaptive Capacity).
Exposition: Refers to the type and degree (or nature), to which a system is
exposed as a result of signicant climate variations (climatic hazards or climatic
stressors are considered) (IPCC 2007).
Sensitivity: Degree in which a system may become affected by a particular
problem associated to climate variability or climate change. The effects can be direct
(i.e., change in crops yield in response to rainfall variations) or indirect (i.e., potential
impacts caused by a greater frequency of coastal oodings) (IPCC 2007).
Adaptive capacity: Set of capacities, resources, and institutions of a country or
region that will allow the implementation of effective adaptation measures for
reducing impacts resulted from a particular problem associated to climate variability
or climate change (IPCC 2007).
Based on this conceptual and operational framework of the vulnerability
evaluation, operational variables of the exposed component should be related
to climate variables that affect the interrelation of biotic and abiotic factors of the
landscape involved in the supply of water environmental services, both in
ooding regulation as in the provision of surface water, as an example. Sensitiv-
ity variables must be designed to explain why a climate event turns into a
problem, both in the vulnerable object level and in the territory where this object
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 295
is developing, for instance, an increase in urban population and the condition of
primary vegetation in the supply basins, respectively, if the identied problem is
water availability for public urban consumption.
In this sense, the evaluation of the vulnerability is the rst step toward the design
and approach of actions to reduce current and potential impacts of climate change; it
is directly framed in the monitoring and evaluation processes of the implemented
actions by different levels of government and of the civil society organized through
the guiding question: the implemented adaptation actions are efcient in diminishing
the vulnerability of an object and of a specic problem related to climate. One of the
main challenges is to incorporate in the regulation of the territorial planning in
Mexico the results of the vulnerability analysis under an environmental services
supply and demand approach, in the current context and under climatic uncertainty
14.5 Targeting Actions to Reduce Vulnerability to Changes
in Water Availability: Examples
One of the distinctive elements in our country is the wide diversity in social, cultural,
and environmental, and in terms of the vulnerability degree to climate change, such
diversity and special characteristics of the territory and basins are interrelated to a
trend in the demand of natural resources and its management, especially the water
resource. All this has an inuence on the risk of suffering damages or not satisfying
the demand from the reduction of supply due to changes in rainfall and/or
temperature or as a result of an increase in the water resource demand or a combi-
nation of both.
Thus, one of the main challenges for Mexico is to build the capacities to prevent
and react in an anticipate manner to water scarcity or abundance and in particular
before drought and ooding scenarios. These capacities, which are an element of
vulnerability, must be constructed in different spatial and temporal spheres and
emerge from the design and implementation of normative, planning, and prioritiza-
tion instruments, some of which are mentioned in this chapter, as well as an active
participation of social stakeholders in the basin, understanding their functional
integration from the watershed to the lake or the sea.
There are cases of targeting of actions that have a water resources supply and
demand approach and its relation and anticipation of scenarios of rainfall and
temperature decrease or increase, and which may generate a participative method-
ological basis to promote, from scientic information and watershed management;
adaptations to climate change to reduce the vulnerability of the water resource
toward climate change.
296 E. Ríos Patrón et al.
14.5.1 Instruments for Action Planning and Prioritization
to Reduce the Vulnerability to Climate Change
Main instruments are specically included in the General Law for Climate Change,
issued on June 6, 2012, and initiated with the creation of the National System for
Climate Change. National System for Climate Change
The National System for Climate Change is created from the General Law for
Climate Change to act as a permanent mechanism of concurrency, communication,
collaboration, coordination, and agreement about the national policy for climate
change and to promote its transversal application in the short, medium, and long
term among the authorities of the three levels of government, in their respective
competence scope, coordinating the federation, state, and municipal efforts for
conducting actions toward the adaptation, mitigation, and reduction of vulnerability,
to cope with the adverse effects of climate change, promoting concurrence, connec-
tion, and coherence of programs, actions, and investments of the federal government,
states, and municipalities, with the National Strategy and the Special Program on
Climate Change (LGCC 2012). The System is formed by:
Interministerial Commission on Climate Change (CICC), integrated by 14 Federal
State Secretariats
Climate Change Council, as a permanent CICC consulting entity, integrated by
members with recognized merits and experience in climate change from social,
private, and academic sectors
National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), agency that coordi-
nates the Climate Change policy
States and Municipalities
This National System for Climate Change will use public policy instruments
Planning: National Strategy on Climate Change, Special Program on Climate
Change that will integrate the National Policy on Climate Change, as well as State
Programs on Climate Change that will side with the National Policy
Financial: Emissions Trading and the Climate Change Fund
Informative and regulating: the inventory of national and state greenhouse gases
effect emissions, National Registry of Emissions, Information System on Climate
Change, and Mexican Ofcial Norms
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 297 Information System on Climate Change (SICC)
It is one of the information instruments which integrate the National System on
Climate Change,
and it is in charge of the National Institute of Statistics and
Geography, in accordance with the provision of the Law of the National System of
Information, Statistics and Geography, that must generate, with the support of
governmental agencies, a set of key indicators that will address at least the following
issues as stated in Article 77 of the General Law on Climate Change:
I. Emissions from the national inventory, state inventory, and registry
II. Projects for the reduction of emission of the Registry or those who participate
in the agreements of which Mexico is a party
III. Atmospheric conditions of the national territory, weather forecasts in the
short-term and long-term projections and characterization of climate
IV. Vulnerability of human settlements, infrastructure, islands, coastal areas and
river deltas, economic activities, and environmental effects, attributable to
climate change
V. Average elevation of sea level
VI. Estimation of costs, in a given year, attributable to climate change that will be
included in the Ecological Net Domestic Product (PINE)
VII. Soil quality, including carbon content
VIII. Protection, adaptation, and management of biodiversity Atlas of Water Vulnerability to Climate Change
It is a key instrument for planning, prioritization of actions, and development of
public policies for reducing the water resource vulnerability in Mexico toward
climate scenarios. This Atlas was created by the Mexican Institute of Water Tech-
nology (IMTA) in 2010 and was updated in 2015, considering social, agriculture,
and hydrometeorology sectors (quality of water, supercial drain off, and extreme
events) (Arreguín Cortés 2015).
Particularly, the Atlas of Water Vulnerability to Climate Change emphasizes the
relevance of sustainable management of aquifers, preventing its overexploitation and
promoting its natural or induced recharge, since it could be a strategic reserve for the
improvement of the degree of adaptability during drought. And as a part of the Atlas
results, in the vulnerability issue of water resource, the challenge on the current
generation is stressed to ensure that adaptation proposals are environmentally sus-
tainable with due respect to the ecologic expenditure in rivers and preventing
overexploitation of aquifers since an overexploited aquifer may generate sanitation
problems to society and a possible collapse in economic activities (Rivas 2015).
SICC is available online at
The Atlas, in its updated 2015 version, is available at
298 E. Ríos Patrón et al. System of Early Warning of Hydrometeorological Risks
Climate change in Mexico has been accompanied by human loses and high eco-
nomic and social costs. Just between 2001 and 2013, those affected by meteorolog-
ical phenomena nearly reached 2.5 million people, and the economic costs amounted
338.35 million pesos (INECC 2015).
These systems are meant to protect the population and mitigate damages caused
by hydrometeorological phenomena. An effectiveness improvement in the applica-
tion of these systems toward the greatest and most intense incidence of hydromete-
orological phenomena resulted from a modication in the global and regional
climate system is one of the main challenges that Mexico faces, a highly vulnerable
country because of its geographic location and social vulnerability.
Improvement in the basin functionality from integral management increases
the resilience to suffering damages by reducing downpours, improving inltra-
tion processes and generating participation processes to respond to risks and
adapt to them. This functionality improvement with a work per basin along the
implementation of early warning systems against hydrometeorological risks will
allow synergistic results to prevent damage and to adapt in an effective manner
from the social, ecosystems, and protection of productive systems and
These systems are composed of four components (CENAPRED 2017) that should
be integrated in a coordinated way for the functioning of the system: (i) prior
knowledge and identication of meteorological phenomena associated risks, to
take measures in the preparation and self-protection, (ii) measurement and monitor-
ing system to conduct forecasts or science-based risk warnings, and (iii) plans of
response or contingency to know what to do against the impact of perturbing
phenomena and public alert issuing with clear and precise information. In Mexico,
there are early warning systems for tropical cyclones and tsunamis, from the
National Meteorological Service, which is an agency of the National Water Com-
mission (CONAGUA) that also operates a Drought Monitor.
The Drought Monitor acquired its national character by issuing fortnight
drought maps, since February 2014. This important early warning system is based
in obtaining and interpreting diverse drought indexes or indicators as the Standard
Precipitation Index (SPI) which quanties the precipitation decit or surplus condi-
tions (30, 90, 180, 365 days), Rain Anomaly in Percent of Normal (30, 90,
180, 365 days), Satellite Vegetation Health Index (VHI) which measures the degree
of stress in vegetation through observed radiance, Leaky Bucket Soil Moisture
Model CPC-NOAA which estimates soil moisture through a one layer hydrological
model, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Mean Temperature
Anomaly, and Water Availability Percentage in dams in the country and input
from local experts. This indexes are deployed in layers through a geographic
information system (GIS), and by consensus, drought-affected regions are deter-
mined according to a scale of intensities ranging from abnormally dry (D0),
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 299
moderate drought (D1), severe drought (D2), extreme drought (D3), up to excep-
tional drought (D4) (SMN 2017).
In Mexico, the development of effective ooding early warning systems
associated with Flooding Risks Atlas and in simulators through rainfall monitor-
ing and simulators of hydrologic behavior in the basins is essential. Likewise, it
is very important to strengthen the Early Warning Systems on the local level, in
order to reduce vulnerability against hydrometeorological risks.
14.5.2 Initiatives and Actions to Reduce the Vulnerability
to Climate Change
Strategies of adaptation to climate change based on ecosystems have been developed
in Mexico as pilots in order to develop and rene methodological schemes of
measurement and implementation that allow the development of synergistic strate-
gies of preservation and restoration actions, associated to climate change mitigation
actions, and that permit the strengthening of the national policy of climate change
adapting in Mexico. Consider some cases. Interinstitutional Platform for the Attention of Coastal
One of the most important ecosystems in Mexico is the coastal wetlands; they are
transition ecosystems between terrestrial and aquatic environments and constitute
transitory or permanent ooding areas. Their environmental services include, among
others, being the support of a characteristic biodiversity, reproduction and feeding
site of numerous species of ecological and shing interest, contribution to water
supply, carbon catchment, and absorbing the impact of extreme hydrometeorological
events, all of which give them a growing social and economic value now and in the
context of climate change. The biological richness and strategic environmental
services that wetlands provide place them among the most signicant natural
resources of more than 11,000 kilometers of coastline in the country.
As part of a conservation, restoration, and sustainable management strategy of coastal
wetlands in Mexico, a Digital Platform of Institutional Coordination was designed to
access, visualize, and analyze information from the federal government agencies on the
subject of coastal wetlands. The objective is to establish a coordination of efforts that
Information of Drought Monitor is available at
INECC-CONAGUA. Priorización de cuencas hidrológicas para la atención de humedales
costeros. Coordinación interinstitucional para la Atención de Humedales Costeros. Disponible en:
300 E. Ríos Patrón et al.
converge in time and space the actions from diverse government institutions, academic
institutions, and civil society organizations that are committed to the preservation of
wetlands under the approach of basin integral management.
INECC along with CONAGUA conducted a prioritization to geographically
locate potential areas of joint intervention, to coordinate efforts of institutions with
attributions for the attention of coastal wetlands. A territorial vision was considered
when incorporating the cartographic base of hydrological basins as prioritization
unit. Prioritization considers three main criteria:
i. Ecological importance of coastal wetlands and the anthropic pressure on them
ii. Exposition to current extreme events and vulnerability to climate change
iii. Current environmental policy instruments on coastal wetlands
This methodology makes it possible to conduct different basin prioritizations
depending on the objective and the institutional and nancial natural resources for
the attention of wetlands included. For instance, wetlands with many instruments of
attention may be considered as a priority in areas of high exposition to climate
events, or of high ecological value and need to reinforce the implementation of
conservation policy instruments.
Results of this prioritization identify basins with coastal wetlands of high eco-
logical value, with high exposition to tropical cyclones, with those municipalities
most vulnerable to climate change and where federal efforts meet for its manage-
ment. The complementarity of rehabilitation activities of forest masses in high
grounds, sustainable productive activities in the middle grounds, and wetland pro-
tection in low grounds of basins ensure the supply of wetlands environmental
services, essential for the vulnerability reduction through mitigation promotion,
triggering of adapting processes against climate change and preserving biodiversity.
Of the 304 hydrological basins with coastal wetlands, 46 present priority category
according to the considered criteria, 19 correspond to the Gulf of California region,
11 to the Gulf of Mexico, 5 to Northeast Pacic, 10 to Tropical Pacic, and 1 to
Caribbean Sea region. Action Plans for Basin Management (PAMIC)
One of the main challenges in territorial planning is the implementation of instru-
ments that incorporate the territorial dynamics of hydrographical basins. As a
response to this need, PAMICs were created; their objective is to promote the
functional connectivity of the territory by providing information to focus conserva-
tion programs for important areas of water environmental services. Currently, it is
used to identify better areas for the payment of environmental services of
CONAFOR, in the implementation of preservation actions the National Commission
of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) and diverse projects with an environmental
approach operated by regional funds.
PAMICs are an instrument of territorial planning designed by the Directorate of
Hydrological Environmental Services and Adaptation of the Institute of Ecology and
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 301
Climate Change (INECC). Its objective is to promote the functional connectivity of
hydrographical basins through the identication of territorial relations between
supply and demand areas of SAH. Allowing, through cartographic products, to
focus on actions for the conservation, rehabilitation, and sustainable use of high
potential SAH areas and which are hydrographically related to areas with a high
demand for those services. The instrument has three components; one analytical, one
relational, and another participative. The rst one corresponds to the geographic
modeling and identication of high potential areas for the supply of supercial
waters and preservation of soils, that is, supply priority areas of SAH. The relational
component identies water uses and volumes and licenses and determines the
hydrographic relation between supply and demand areas of SAH for the identica-
tion of priority intervention areas. The participative component covers the local
traditional knowledge, the community and institutional capacities for implementing
actions focused on the conservation of natural capital, and the adequacy of produc-
tive practices in priority supply areas of SAH.
In the context of climate uncertainty, the proposal of implementing conservation
actions in PAMICs prioritizes areas with a high supply of SAH and with a potential
change in the vegetation structure considering the projections of climate change,
contributing in the reduction of the population vulnerability and productive activities
of basins.
Up to date, in the Conservation of Coastal Basins in the Context of Climate
Change(C6) framework, the PAMICs that have been developed on the coastal
basins are: Tuxpan, Jamapa, and Antigua Rivers, in the state of Veracruz; the basin
systems that ow into Bahia de Banderas, in Jalisco; and San Pedro and Baluarte
River basins, in Nayarit and Sinaloa.
C6 operates with a grant from Global Environmental Facility (GEF) managed by
the World Bank. Three public institutions (the Institute of Ecology and Climate
Change, CONANP, CONAFOR) and a private entity, the Mexican Fund for the
Preservation of Nature (FMCN), collaborate. The architecture of the project coordi-
nation constitutes an innovative component that seeks the initiation of collaboration
processes and synergies in the territory for promoting the integrated management of
coastal basins, preserving their biodiversity, triggering adaptation processes, and
contributing in the mitigation of climate change. All the actions in the C6 framework
seek to contribute in the recovery of basins functionality and the maintenance of
ecosystem services of regulation and provision. National Program Against Drought (PRONACOSE)
PRONACOSE, coordinated by CONAGUA, emerges at the beginning of the
administration in 2014 as a planning or programming scheme of actions or preven-
tive and mitigation measures against droughts, which, as mentioned before, began its
fortnight monitoring through the National Meteorological Service of the National
Water Commission (SMN-CONAGUA) since February 2014. These measures or
actions inserted in programs according to basin councils, or cities, or metropolitan
302 E. Ríos Patrón et al.
areas establish a pathway toward a severe drought program. There are already
programs for Preventive Measures and Drought Mitigation (PMPMS) in 26 basin
councils as well as in 13 major cities or metropolitan areas. Consistent with
CONAGUA (2015), these programs seek to:
Guarantee water availability required to ensure health and life of the population:
public, domestic, urban, and rural supply
Prevent or minimize the negative effects of drought on the environment, espe-
cially on ecological ow regimes
Minimize negative effects on economic activities, according to prioritization of
uses established in the water legislation and in water programs
This program necessarily links the measures established in the PMPMS, in basin
approach and with the analysis of supply and demand of hydrological environmental
services, in the face of scenarios of low water availability due to meteorological
drought seeking to avoid socioeconomic drought. National Program of Water Reserves (PNRA)
LAN establishes that for the ecological protection, which includes preservation or
restoration of vital ecosystems, and for the preservation of wetlands, the legal
solution is the declaration or decree of total or partial reserves of national waters
as ecological reserves. Article 41 of that Law establishes that the Federal Executive
may declare by decree total or partial reserve of national waters in order to guar-
antee minimal ows for the ecological protection, including preservation or restora-
tion of vital ecosystems.
In order to promote water reserves, the National Program of Water Reserves
(PNRA) was created, a powerful private-public initiative
for strengthening water
management for the conservation and adaptation to climate change (BID 2015),
based upon the model developed by Alliance WWF-Fundación Gonzalo Rio
Arronte, I.A.P. (FGRA) and other partners since 2005 and whose objectives are:
Establishing a national system of water reserves
Demonstrating its benets as an instrument, guarantor of the functionality of the
water cycle and its environmental services
Strengthening the application of the Mexican norm of ecological ow in the
CONAGUA and the Alliance WWF-FGRA led the study to establish the feasibility
of hydrological basins in Mexico, in order to implement water reserves. Results
show that 189 basins are feasible to be decreed if the necessary studies are com-
pleted, and there would be water available for the environmental protection of
The main partners of PNRA are the National Water Commission, Binational Commission of
Protected Natural Areas, WWF Mexico, FGRA, and Inter-American Development Bank.
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 303
55 Ramsar sites (41% of the total) and for 97 ANP (50% of the total) (Conagua 2011;
González Mora et al. 2014).
14.6 Conclusion
Integrate in an effective manner, the water resources supply and demand approach in
the context of climate change in the governance, coordination and participatory
spaces of the water and climate change policy, is an unprecedented challenge for the
operation of the Mexican environmental normativity. The basic legal and normative
framework exists but the interaction and functionality of attributions and the insti-
tutions acting in the complex systems that basins mean, not yet. As it is reafrmed in
this chapter, it is an urgent need to make it from a socioecosystemic perspective
based on the approach of integral basin management that will translate into a
systematic reduction in the vulnerability against impacts, both in human and in
natural systems.
However, facing the problem of water resources in the future, with the principles,
approaches, and tools of public policy discussed in this chapter in an interdisciplin-
ary environment, intersectoral coordination, with the formation of the required
capacities, will allow Mexico to fulll non-conditioned commitments in climate
change adaptation subscribed in the Paris Agreement. Solutions imply a paradigm
shift in the design and implementation of public policies integrating a common
vision of the territory for all sectors, stakeholders, and levels, as well as the
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Sanjurjo Rivera, E., González Mora, I. D., Ortiz Paniagua, C. F., & Ríos Patrón, E. (2017).
Economía y medio ambiente. Reexiones desde el manejo de cuencas. CECADESU-
SEMARNAT, Red Mexicana de Cuencas Hidrográcas, Red de Socioecosistemas y
Sustentabilidad, Alianza WWF-Fundación Gonzalo Río Arronte, I.A.P.
Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT). (2013). Programa Sectorial de
Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (PROMARNAT) 20132018, Gobierno de la República.
México, 138 p.
Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales/Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio
Climático (SEMARNAT-INECC). (2013). Estrategia Nacional de Cambio Climático. Visión
10-20-40 Gobierno de la República, 60 pp.
Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (SMN). (2017). Consulta de la página:
climatologia/monitor-de-sequia/monitor-de-sequia-en-mexico. Consulta el 21 de noviembre de
WWAP (Programa Mundial de Evaluación de los Recursos Hídricos de las Naciones Unidas).
(2017). Informe Mundial de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Desarrollo de los Recursos Hídricos
2017. Aguas residuales: El recurso desaprovechado. París: UNESCO.
Eduardo Ríos Patrón is co-coordinator since 2011 of the Mexican Network of Hydrographic
Basins. He has participated in the Organizing and Scientic Committee of the III and IV National
Congress of Watershed Management. He is a specialist in watershed planning and management. He
has extensive experience in the implementation of environmental policy, in the promotion of
coordination processes as Head of the Planning and Environmental Policy Unit, and in the Ministry
of Environment and Natural Resources, Delegation in Michoacán. He is co-author of publications
on issues of integral management of watersheds. He teaches Public Policy and Environmental
Legislation at the National School of Higher Studies of the National Autonomous University of
Mexico (UNAM), Morelia campus. He holds a Bachelors degree and a Masters Degree in
Administration from the Universidad Anáhuac del Sur and a Masters Degree in Integrated
Watershed Management from the Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ). He is a member
of the Socioecosystems and Sustainability Network (RedSocioecoS).
Daniel Iura González Terrazas earned a Master of Science with a specialization in Natural
Resources Management from the International Institute of Earth Observation and
Geo-information (ITC), University of Twente, Netherlands, and a Master in Geography from the
Research Center in Environmental Geography. Also a biologist graduated from the Faculty of
Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). His research areas include
the analysis of supply and demand of environmental services for the processes of adaptation to
306 E. Ríos Patrón et al.
climate change in the framework of watersheds, incorporation of the basin approach, and climate
change in the instruments of territorial planning. He is a specialist in support systems for environ-
mental decisions and geographic information. Since 2012, he is attached to the National Institute of
Ecology; currently, he heads the Hydrological Environmental Services Analysis Department of the
General Coordination of Adaptation to Climate Change. Among the current projects under his
charge include the design of the inter-institutional platform for attention to coastal wetlands, the
PAMICs watershed management action plans, and the coordination of the National Atlas of
Vulnerability to Climate Change by INECC. He is a member of the Mexican Network of Hydro-
graphic Basins.
Ignacio Daniel González Mora is co-coordinator since 2011 of the Mexican Network of Hydro-
graphic Basins. His academic training was carried out at the UNAM: biologist at the Faculty of
Sciences and with subsequent studies of specialization in Applied Statistics at the Research Institute
in Applied Mathematics and Systems. He has worked in the National Water Commission
(CONAGUA) responsible for the planning and coordination of the National Water Quality Mon-
itoring Network, where he promoted biological and toxicological monitoring and proposed a new
system of environmental indicators of water quality. In 2005, he joined the technical team of the
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). In the development of the WWF-Fundación Gonzalo Río
Arronte IAP, he has been responsible for 11 years of the management of the Copalita-Zimatán-
Huatulco, Oax. Basins, and coordinator of the interdisciplinary team that determined the ecological
ow in 10 representative sites of these basins. Since then he has participated in both the Advisory
Council of the Huatulco National Park (CONANP) and the Basin Council of the Coast of Oaxaca
and in his auxiliary body the Basin Committee of the Copalita and Tonameca rivers, being a
member of the organizations of the civil society. He has participated in projects in other Oaxacan
basins, such as Río Verde Atoyac and Tehuantepec. He has collaborated in the Organizing
Committees of the National Congresses of Management of Hydrographic Basins III and IV in the
capacity building initiatives of CECADESU-SEMARNAT on integrated management of basins. He
is a member of the Socio-ecosystems and Sustainability Network (RedsocioecoS).
14 Climate Change and Vulnerability of Water Resources in Mexico:... 307
This chapter provides the overall context and setting for the volume. In this chapter the scope of the book is established along with the way each chapter addresses its objectives and reach. It also provides an overview of the chapters underlining the links and continuity among them. A lesson learned section is provided, summarizing the lessons from the different chapters in the book in a way that readers can learn about the concluding notes presented by the authors in each section. © Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019.
Full-text available
Esta publicación, junto con Cuencas hidrográficas, fundamentos y perspectivas para su manejo y gestión, Ríos libres y vivos, introducción al caudal ecológico y reservas de agua y Suelos, bases para su manejo y conservación de esta misma serie, tiene como finalidad reconocer al manejo integral de cuencas como un útil y eficaz proceso que busca la resolución de un complejo conjunto de problemas interrelacionados y comunes, a través de la concurrencia, la cooperación y la colaboración de diversos actores e instituciones con una visión común (Cotler y Caire, 2009), elementos torales cuando estamos frente al cambio climático. Esperamos que este material sea leído ampliamente y contribuya a fortalecer capacidades locales y nacionales a través del reconocimiento de la problemática del cambio climático y permita reflexionar sobre las alternativas y los retos que el manejo de cuencas ofrece para enfrentarlo desde una perspectiva regional.
Full-text available
En este cuaderno de divulgación se presenta la idea de un río como un ecosistema dinámico y variable, cuya modificación temporal y en términos de cantidad y calidad de agua que circula en su cauce (también llamado régimen de caudales) condiciona los procesos físicos, biológicos, químicos y ecológicos en los que se basa el funcionamiento ecosistémico. En la actualidad los ecosistemas fluviales o de los ríos y los humedales presentan signos de deterioro y la solución que se busca es conservar o recuperar su funcionalidad natural. Dicha funcionalidad natural de los ríos (conocida como integridad ecológica) permite adaptarse a las perturbaciones o ser resiliente y capaz de proveer de bienes y servicios ecosistémicos a los habitantes de la cuenca hidrográfica. Además, se presenta el concepto de caudal ecológico, sus principios fundamentales y dos aportaciones relevantes en materia de política pública ambiental: la norma mexicana -sin equivalente en el ámbito internacional- y el Programa Nacional de Reservas de Agua, iniciativa público-privada, considerada como una estrategia de adaptación ante la variación climática. También se discute cómo el caudal ecológico y las reservas de agua pueden contribuir a hacer realidad el derecho humano al agua en México y cómo se puede controlar y poner límites al uso de un bien común -el agua- para que su aprovechamiento sea motor del desarrollo sustentable.
Full-text available
Las cuencas hidrográficas son territorios definidos naturalmente donde todos los procesos socioecológicos están íntimamente ligados entre sí. En ellas, el manejo se entiende como un proceso de planeación, implementación y evaluación de acciones mediante la participación organizada e informada de la población. La posibilidad de realizar un manejo de cuenca se inicia cuando nos reconocemos como habitantes de ella y, por tanto, como beneficiarios de sus servicios ecosistémicos (que se originan con las funciones propias de ésta, desde los parteaguas o zonas más altas hasta los puntos de salida o zonas de emisión, como el mar o un lago), al mismo tiempo que nos visualicemos como generadores de impactos que se expresan en forma acumulativa en las partes bajas. Reconocer la dinámica hidrológica, ecosistémica, cultural, social e institucional de las cuencas hidrográficas de México implica, primero, conocer donde vivimos, de dónde vienen los bienes y servicios ambientales de los que nos beneficiamos, el agua, la biodiversidad, el suelo, los bosques y las selvas, y cómo cumplen diversas funciones y se relacionan a partir del elemento integrador agua, que abarca en su red de arroyos y ríos una conexión inseparable entre la cuenca alta y la cuenca baja. Este cuaderno de divulgación describe el concepto de cuenca hidrográfica a través de su estructura y función. A partir de ello, se describen las cuencas hidrográficas de México y se especifican las fuentes de información para su consulta. La complejidad del manejo de una cuenca hidrográfica obliga a orientar acciones integrales y conceptualizar a la cuenca como un sistema complejo que a diversas escalas requiere del fomento de procesos colaborativos y de coordinación, temas que se abordan en un apartado especial.
Full-text available
There is a growing awareness that both adaptation and mitigation measures are needed to reduce the impacts of climate change. Historically, due to a wide variety of reasons, mitigation and adaptation have been framed by scientists and policy makers as two different approaches to deal with the same problem: climate change. As a result, there are large differences in the way knowledge is produced, the analytical approaches that are used, and the designed policy strategies. This paper discusses the origin of the adaptation–mitigation dichotomy. Second, the paper addresses the relationship between climate change responses and spatial planning since there is a growing awareness that spatial planning can function as a switchboard for mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development objectives. Furthermore, the paper explores the role that spatial planning can play in developing effective mitigation and adaptation options in an integrated manner, searching for synergies and trade-offs. This creates the necessity to take climate change responses into account in spatial planning practices. We argue that climate change could also lead to changes in the traditional administrative structures that spatial planners are accustomed to. Since many of the main impacts of climate change have a water dimension, we discuss the river basin approach as the new administrative level at which spatial planning can increase the effectiveness of adaptation and mitigation measures and integrate these into other sustainable development policies.
Atlas de vulnerabilidad hídrica en México ante el cambio climático
  • Arreguín Cortés
  • Felipe Coord
Arreguín Cortés, Felipe, I Coord. (2015), Atlas de vulnerabilidad hídrica en México ante el cambio climático, Felipe I. Arreguín Cortés, Mario López Pérez, Olivia Rodríguez López y Martín José Montero Martínez, coordinadores Jiutepec, Mor., Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua.
En Javier Delgadillo (Compilador), Política territorial en México, hacia un modelo de desarrollo basado en el territorio
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Azuela de la Cueva, A. (2006a). Distancias y disonancias del ordenamiento territorial en la legislación mexicana. En Javier Delgadillo (Compilador), Política territorial en México, hacia un modelo de desarrollo basado en el territorio (467-492). SEDESOL y UNAM.