On Lessons from Water Recharge Projects in Mexico: Science-Policy Collaboration and Stakeholder Participation

Mary Belle Cruz Ayala, José R. Soto, Margaret O. Wilder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Analyzing collaborative practices among water governance institutions is key to generating timely information for stakeholders, policymakers, and researchers -as these are rethinking their goals and network structures to find the most productive avenues for collective work. This study draws on existing collaboration theories to characterize and analyze science-policy interactions between researchers, water managers, non-governmental organizations, and consultants who have participated or currently participate in water management and recharge projects in Mexico. We sampled 70 people that had worked or are working on water recharge projects in eight Mexican states in three broad regions: Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Sonora (northern); Estado de Mexico, San Luis Potosí, Mexico City (central); and Oaxaca (southern). Participants represented research institutions, non-governmental organizations, universities, federal, state, and municipal governments, and consultants. The data were collected using a mixed-methods approach (i.e., semi-structured interviews; online surveys). We identified science-policy interactions between researchers, policymakers, and non-governmental organizations critical to effectively developing and implementing water recharge projects. Our results find that trust and stakeholder participation are the most critical elements for building collaborative relationships. Finding ways to supersede structural challenges and promote science-policy collaboration among sectors and interagency with water management responsibilities will help achieve environmental and policy goals and increase water recharge development across Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Mexico
  • collaboration
  • cooperation
  • groundwater
  • interactions
  • knowledge
  • recharge
  • researchers
  • science
  • trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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