In Mexico, one hundred of the 188 most important aquifers dedicated to agriculture and human consumption are over-exploited and 32 are affected by seawater intrusion in coastal areas. Considering that Mexico relies on groundwater, it is vital to develop a portfolio of alternatives to recover aquifers and examine policies and programs regarding reclaimed water and stormwater. Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) may be useful for increasing water availability and adapting to climate change in semi-arid regions of Mexico. In this paper, we present an overview of water recharge projects that have been conducted in Mexico in the last 50 years, their methods for recharge, water sources, geographical distribution, and the main results obtained in each project. We found three types of MAR efforts: (1) exploratory and suitability studies for MAR, (2) pilot projects, and (3) MAR facilities that currently operate. This study includes the examination of the legal framework for MAR to identify some challenges and opportunities that Mexican regulation contains in this regard. We find that beyond the technical issues that MAR projects normally address, the regulatory framework is a barrier to increasing MAR facilities in Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number474
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Arid
  • Framework
  • LAN (Law of the nation's waters)
  • Legal
  • MAR
  • Mexico
  • Reclaimed water
  • Regulatory
  • Semi-arid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Biochemistry


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