Region/Countries: Mexico, North America Industry: Water / Clean Technology Date: January 2020

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Drinking water access in rural areas is less than 80%, and less than 50% of Mexico's collected wastewater receives treatment.

Mexico’s national drinking water coverage is 91.6%. However, in rural areas, coverage is only 78.8% due to the dispersion of the population in complex physiographic conditions and the technical and financial difficulty of developing drinking water, sewerage and water treatment systems. Most of the water system operator agencies for public service are not properly professionalized, depend on large subsidies, and are not constituted as public companies subject to clear and transparent rules of government. Only 47.5% of the wastewater collected receives treatment, and a much lower percentage (difficult to quantify precisely due to lack of monitoring and surveillance) complies with the discharge quality standards.

Mexico does not have a complete inventory of industrial discharges. The National Water Commission only records volume and discharge characteristics for federal bodies of water. Industrial users in urban areas discharge wastewater into municipal systems, with municipal operators tracking these discharges. These figures are included in the data for consumption and discharge of water for urban use. The volume of water supplied to industrial users outside urban areas is an estimated 2.5 km3 (78.7 m3/s), which corresponds to 1,387 principal companies. Currently, the volume of wastewater generated by non-urban industrial users is approximately 2.05 km3 (64.5 m3/s), with 1.6 million tons of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) per year. The flow of wastewater currently treated is 0.17 km3/year (5.3m3/s), with a removal of 120,000 tons of BOD. Untreated flow amounts to 1.88 km3/year (59.2 m3/s), with 1.4 million tons per year of BOD. The demand for water for industrial use in 2020 is estimated at 95 m3/s, generating a water discharge residual of 76 m3/s and 1.88 million tons of BOD per year. The infrastructure to support this will require an investment of approximately $1.7 billion, with an average annual operating cost estimated at $1.1 billion. Adding urban-origin and industrial-origin water, not including wastewater from agriculture, treatment needs in 2020 are estimated at 331 m3/s, with a required investment of $4.35 billion and an annual operating cost of approximately $3.19 billion. Given the magnitude of the figures, private sector participation will be necessary for efficient and effective water treatment operation and administration services in Mexico.