Climate change in Mexico will cause reduction in rainfall and increased droughts, which will in turn affect riverine, estuarine, and coastal systems, and the country's water supply upon which people and industries depend. Mexico’s National Water Commission (Comisión Nacional del Agua - CONAGUA) released a report to address water supply issues and analyze predictions for better planning. In 2010, the World Bank approved a $450 million loan to support the development of climate change adaptation policies for the water sector. Policies developed will advance projects and prioritize climate change adaptation in the water sector throughout all of Mexico.


Mexico is already being affected by several climate change impacts, such as sea level rise and increased temperatures. These impacts are resulting in decreased precipitation, water storage, drinking water availability, and water quality affecting the country's built and natural environments and human communities. The country’s growth, development, agriculture, biodiversity, and natural areas are being negatively affected, increasing the urgency for climate adaptation action. For climate change adaptation to be effective nationwide, clear comprehensive policies need to be developed to protect the nation's water resources.


The project is in its initial stages to develop climate change policies with stakeholder support for climate adaptation for Mexico’s water sector. It is intended to examine the whole hydrological system when developing new policies for adaptation. These include strategies in aquifer management, reduction of non-climate stressors such as pollution, and improved and more efficient sewage and irrigation systems. This project is possible due to a partnership between the World Bank and Mexico’s National Water Commission. It is intended to develop policies for the water sector and meet priorities identified by both the National Water Program 2009-2012 and the Special Climate Change Program 2009-2012. 

Outcomes and Conclusions

This project is in its initial phases. Expected results include management plans for the country’s main water supply and aquifers, an increase in the productivity and efficiency of irrigation, and improved water quality by increasing the number and safe operation of sewage treatment plants.

Information collected through interviews and online documents. Updated 12/1/2010.

Score, A. (2010). Climate Change Adaptation Policy for the Water Sector in Mexico [Case study on a project of The World Bank, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and National Water Commission]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE:… (Last updated December 2010)

Project Contact(s)

The World Bank

The World Bank provides low-interest loans, interest-free credits and grants to developing countries for a wide array of purposes that include investments in education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture and environmental and natural resource management.


The National Water Commission (CONAGUA)in Mexico is an administrative,technical advisory commission of Mexico'a Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). CONAGUA administers national waters, manages and controls the country's hydrological system, and promotes social development.


Scale of Project
National / Federal
Sector Addressed
Water Resources
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Air temperature
Fishery harvest
Flow patterns
Habitat extent
Species of concern
Water quality
Water supply
Water temperature
Climate Type
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Infrastructure retrofitting and improvements
Make infrastructure resistant or resilient to climate change
Community Planning (developing climate-smart communities)
Governance and Policy
Create new or enhance existing policies or regulations
Sociopolitical Setting
Effort Stage
In progress