Water & Waste Management

In early 2013, Mexico had over 5,000 dams and reservoirs for storing 138 billion m3 of water for human and industrial consumption, electricity generation, agricultural irrigation, and other uses. The country currently has 699 registered water treatment plants with a total installed capacity of around 135,000 liters per second. Nonetheless, the current water infrastructure is unable to meet the growing demand. Challenges to the country’s water infrastructure include inadequate maintenance, elevated losses during distribution, and low capacity of treatment of residual waters. According to CONAGUA, the availability of freshwater per capita has fallen dramatically from 18,035m3 in 1950 to 3,982m3 in 2013.

Hence, the main goals of the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) 2014-2018 in this regard are ensuring adequate water supply and proper water infrastructure for irrigation, as well as improving drainage and sewage systems and flood prevention infrastructure. The 84 projects programmed make up around 5.4% of the country’s total planned investment for infrastructure and these include tunnels, aqueducts, treatment plants, and desalination plants.

This chapter features insights from the leading members of CONAGUA, national water associations, and main private firms providing consulting and contracting for Mexico’s main water infrastructure projects. It focuses on reporting past success stories, current challenges to the country’s water infrastructure, and upcoming opportunities in this subsector. The main companies involved in water projects share new technologies, engineering developments, and hydrogeological perspectives on the current state of water resources in Mexico.


  • Major new construction developments outlined in the PNI
  • Modernization of existing water management and sanitation infrastructure
  • The challenge of equipping the Mexican population with sufficient access to clean water
  • New administrative techniques in water management, such as MIG