Data from the National Statistics Institute (INEGI) show that Mexico’s available water has fallen to 4,263 cubic meters/person/year. Water availability depends on the amount of rainfall received each year and on total population. Mexico’s water availability has declined rapidly since 1950, when it was 18,053 cubic meters/person/year. Of 177 countries analyzed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Mexico ranked 90th in terms of water availability.
According to INEGI, Mexico’s total current demand for water nationwide is 78.4 billion cubic meters/year, 11.5 billion more than natural replenishment rates. The drainage basins facing the most severe shortfalls are the Lerma basin in central Mexico, and the Río Grande in northern Mexico.
On the positive side, Mexico reached its UN Millennium Development Goal target for access to water 10 years early, by reducing the percentage of population without access to water in their homes from 25% in 1990 to less than 8% in 2010.
Mexico has also already met its target for improving access to wastewater drainage, where the proportion of the population lacking access to sewage systems has fallen from 37% in 1990 to 10% in 2010.
Mexico’s water resources and water-related issues are the subject of chapters 6 and 7 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico. Ask your library to buy a copy of this handy reference guide to all aspects of Mexico’s geography today! Better yet, order your own copy…