Assessing policy influences on people’s relationship to water ecosystem services: The Mexican experience
Even without the challenges of climate change Mexico faces growing water stress as a result of population and economic growth. Current water policy encourages irrigated agriculture but creates no incentive for the efficient use of that water. The state has also failed to protect freshwater ecosystems with only 10% of surface water being classed as unpolluted. Payments for hydrological services are made to land managers in areas that have been identified as critical for ground water recharge. The payments by government signal the first movement away from the dependency on supply side investments for water supply and management. This analysis shows that the nascent payment programme is facing numerous constraints, many of which stem from the contradictory government policy and opposition from within government and the private sector to the payment of subsidies.