Water (whether treated or not) is used in almost any economic activity. The clothing industry, the agricultural sector, companies dedicated to the production of paper, steel companies and those that build cars and, certainly, the semiconductor and battery industry are just a few examples of industries that use water in their production processes. .
According to the National Water Commission (Conagua), in our country the agricultural sector consumes most of the water granted or administered by the federal entities (around 75% of the total). Water for domestic use adds an average of 15%; industry, commerce and services consume approximately 6% and energy production (not counting hydroelectric, solar and wind generation) uses only 4%.
On the other hand, if we review the water stress index generated by the WRI, which measures what percentage of available water each country uses (use-availability ratio), by 2022 Mexico was in second place among Latin American countries, only behind Chile; with an index of 3.86 and a percentage of use of 77.2%. For sizing purposes only, water stress is measured on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 means 100% use of available water.
As expected, some regions of our country are under greater water stress than others. Almost half of the states of Mexico (15), all located in the north and center, fall into the category of high water stress. That is, they consume between 80% and 100% of their available water each year. Among these states are: Baja California Sur, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, Querétaro, Hidalgo, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Sonora, State of Mexico, Mexico City, Sinaloa, Nuevo León, Morelos, Jalisco and Tamaulipas.
However, the fact that a state has a high use of the resource does not necessarily mean that it is using high amounts of water. In other words, it may actually not have a large amount of the resource or it may be inadequately managed, resulting in water contamination and consequently the impossibility of using it.
If we now talk about investment in hydraulic infrastructure, according to the PEF for 2023, the resources assigned to Conagua will be around 68.485 million pesos (mdp). A large portion of these will go to six large projects at the federal level. It is fair to say that this amount exceeds the budget approved in 2021 and 2022 (24,922 million pesos and 33,916 million pesos, respectively). In my opinion, beyond the discussion of whether any particular project has been set aside, what is important is that investment is expected in projects that will bring water to both cities and industry.