Regulating groundwater use: The challenges of policy implementation in Guanajuato, Central Mexico

Jaime Hoogesteger van Dijk*, Flip Wester

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Around the world it has proven very difficult to develop policies and interventions that ensure socio-environmentally sustainable groundwater use and exploitation. In the state of Guanajuato, Central Mexico, both the national government and the decentralized state government have pursued to regulate groundwater use through direct state control, groundwater markets, energy pricing, and user self-regulation. We present and analyze these regulatory mechanisms and their outcomes in the field. We argue that the close interdependencies of these regulatory mechanisms have pre-empted the effectiveness of these policy instruments as well as that of other measures aimed at reducing groundwater use in order to advance towards sustainable exploitation levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • Energy pricing
  • Groundwater management
  • Mexico
  • User self-regulation
  • Water markets
  • Water policy

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