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Water markets in Mexico: opportunities and constraints

R Hearne, J L Trava

Discussion paper, 35 pages

In 1992, the Government of Mexico initiated a new national water law which decentralised water resources management and allowed the market transfer of water-use concessions between individual irrigators. These reforms were expected to improve water resources management through greater user participation in irrigation management, as well as to increase irrigators’ incentives to improve water-use efficiency. At the time of its proposal the 1992 Federal Water Law was considered to be the first step in the establishment of limited water markets. This paper addresses the opportunities and constraints to improved water resource use and allocation through the market incentives that result from transferable water-use permits. The paper reviews water allocation institutions in Mexico and provides case studies of water allocation and decision-making.

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