Arturo González C., Nahún H. García V. and Benjamín De León M.

Well withdrawals at the beginning of the year (January).

The importance of groundwater, in Mexico, is reflected in the coverage to supply water to more than 75 million people in urban and rural areas and provide 37% of the volume used for agriculture in irrigated areas of the country; therefore, water is considered a national security and strategic resource. The balance of groundwater estimates a recharge of 75,000 million of cubic meters (Mm3), extracting about 28,349 Mm3 from the 653 aquifers of the country. In the center and north of Mexico, with medium to low rainfall, the imbalance is critical due to the strong over exploitation, in which there is a negative imbalance annually that is estimated in the order of 5,400 Mm3. The problem of overexploitation of aquifers is becoming more serious, since according to the National Water Commission (Comisión Nacional del Agua, CONAGUA) in Mexico, in 2007, there was a total of 104 overexploited aquifers; the most important indicates that over-exploitation occurs in aquifers with greater volume and greater strategic importance. The National Water Commission in Mexico has implemented an intensive program to install flow and volume meters in wells, the effort made is not enough to cover all wells; it is estimated that there is only a coverage not greater than 10% of all meters required. The main problem of Mexican aquifers is the low intensity of users to measure the water extracted from the well, due to lack of motivation of care and importance coupled with weak institutional monitoring for not having enough people to perform such control. Moreover, it is necessary to raise the problem of handling the large amount of information that must be analyzed, to supervise, control and monitor water withdrawals, this requires to use this information as a complement in measurement made by users, indirect measurement through the Energy Indices that relate kWt/hours consumed to the volume extracted for each pumping system. The transfer of this technology and its legal support is driven by the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua, IMTA) and the National Water Commission of Mexico implementing a new system of supervision, monitoring and regulation of water withdrawals on aquifers, using the platform called Withdrawals Control and Regulation (SOCRATEX), which can lead indirectly cumulative volumetric measurement of water withdrawals from each well and each set of wells from each aquifer. SOCRATEX is a support tool in the supervision and monitoring of groundwater withdrawals, by geo-referring the position of each well and allowing to extract only the volume allowed of water, based on the sustainable volume available in each aquifer. The importance of this system focuses primarily on transparency and to inform water users and the institutions responsible for their care, that water withdrawals must necessarily be subjected to the measurement, applying a comprehensive and sustainable management policy for this water resource. Secondly, SOCRATEX allows and supports its use, based on complementing management and governance among water users and the institutions responsible for their care, providing solutions in order to stop the overexploitation of aquifers and promote the recovery, optimizing economically the use and management of water, without losing the sustainability of aquifers.

 

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