REG amuses...: They may be in their 80s, but no grass grows over them

Reb Rea and Todd Stong are retired engineers. Reg worked with General Motors in the USA where he learned much about Americans and their society. Todd is a retired military engineer with combat experience and engineering work done in Asia, Africa and now Mexico. Both of these men are retirees in word only as they work hard to provide potable drinking water to Mexican in the central region of the country.

Below you can read a very comprehensive report these ‘retirees’ compiled to explain and show their work in relation to the water project in Lake Chapala.

Lake Chapala, very close to Guadalajara and not far from Mexico City, is an area that may have the very best climate in the world. Dry, warm, always comfortable, never extremely hot, never cold, an amazingly steady weather system all year long, making it a great escape for snowbirds and expats from Canada and the USA. However, though it has a lake from which it derives its name, less than 10 years ago, the water was so polluted it was completely unpalatable. Todd developed a system which is restoring the water to a drinkable state and is doing so in such a capacity that Guadalajara, a city approaching 2 million people, is running out of clean water. This water project could end up producing enough water for the city for the next half-century.

Here is the report:


For 13 years I have been serving as a volunteer engineer in 6 municipios about Lake Chapala

I am deeply committed to the betterment of the lake and the people in the villages about the lake

I do not seek any funding or position. My services are free.

I wish to present possible solutions to possible challenges in Jalisco and nearby states

Today I wish to speak about the 50 year future water supply for Guadalajara as it grows to 12 million

At a future time of your choice I would like to speak about any of the following topics:

Jobs via floating cage aquaculture in lakes and reservoirs (14,000 jobs with 1% of Lake Chapala)

Jobs via hydroponic greenhouses  (15 jobs/hectare, 1/5th water, 1/3 fertilizer)

Domestic water from Lake Chapala for villages about the lake to avoid arsenic in deep wells

Low cost, village operated, bottled water plants (50% savings for the rural poor)

Low cost, bio based, zero energy, wastewater treatment facilities for rural villages (1/10 cost)

Free Internet education:  4000 subjects for high school, 1500 university course in Spanish

I would like an English speaking E-Mail contact in your staff to follow up on any actions you wish


Challenges That May Be Of Interest

How can a 15-20% reduction by Lerma River irrigators from their current 70-80% use of the river’s water allow Guadalajara to grow to a 12 million population in the coming 50 years?      (2% pop./year growth rate)

How may Lake Chapala be maintained at 80% full year around?

How may the $3000 million debt of SIAPA be retired in less than 3 years?

Is the 1986 water concession of 240 Mm3/year for Guadalajara from Lake Chapala in need of revision?

What is the least cost option for preventing the failure of the 26 year old pipeline from the lake?

How can the 90% reduction in Lerma River flow since 1930 be reversed?

How may lakeside opponents to the 2nd pipeline to Guadalajara be satisfied?

What could encourage CONAGUA to reduce irrigation water concessions in the Lerma River basin?

What is the lowest priced option for storing water for the city during the 8 months of dry weather?

Who is the best friend, with the power to cause reform, that Lake Chapala may seek?

Is the natural evaporation at Lake Chapala a legitimate concern for not sending water to the lake?

How may the 500+ dams and reservoirs on the Lerma River benefit Guadalajara?

What crop choices can earn Lerma River basin farmers 4, 5 and 100 times more in sales/hectare?**


50 Year Water Future – Guadalajara & Lake Chapala

Guadalajara population will increase from current 4.5 million to 12 million in next 50 years (2% pop./year)

Flow of Lerma River to Lake Chapala has since 1930 been reduced by 90% due to double the sustainable irrigation permitted in the basin and construction of over 500 dams now capable of collecting the entire river

Beginning in 1978 the Lerma River basin’s use of water exceeded supply and thus no water has flowed out of Lake Chapala in the past 38 years to the Rio Santiago

As inefficient irrigation farmers, now using 80% of the Lerma River, will reduce use by each 1% there will be sufficient water to transfer to Guadalajara for 400,000 added population. A 15% reduction is readily possible.

Lerma River water waste by inefficient irrigation is 50% of their 80% use, thus 40% of the river’s flow.

By contrast, Guadalajara waste of Lerma River water due to leaking pipes/open canals is 30% of their 4.6% use = 1.2% of the river’s flow.  That is inefficient irrigation losses are 33 times the losses from leaks in Guadalajara.

Current water flow out of Lake Chapala:  Guadalajara = 120-160 million m3/year (Mm3/year), Ocotlan pumping station to farmers and industry on Rio Santiago may be 200-400 Mm3/year,  Farm irrigation inside lake area = 100 Mm3/year, excess evaporation over rainfall to the lake  = 100 Mm3/year.  Total = 520-760 Mm3/year.

Rainfall in and about the lake replaces 90-96% of the water that evaporates from the lake annually

Lerma River flow to Lake Chapala since 1990 = 0 to 900 Mm3/year.  It was 5000+ Mm3/yr in 1930

Maximum population at Guadalajara that may be served by planned dams on the Rio Verde = 1-1.5 million**

8 Possible Water Claims by the Lerma River Basin

Water sent to the Pacific Ocean benefits no one. Reply: For over 10,000 years water has flowed down the Rio Lerma to Lake Chapala and then for over 500 km more as it has left the lake via the Rio Santiago to flow to the ocean. All who live along a natural water way have a right to the natural use of the water.  Any water consumptions by those upstream must consider those downstream and come to an agreement.*

Water sent on to Lake Chapala makes no sense since it evaporates.   Reply:  Those who make this claim often fail to appreciate that the rain that falls in the lake and about the lake does not enter the Lerma River so must be recognized as to how much it compensates for the evaporation loss at the lake. Such rain direct into the lake and runoff from about the lake is able to replace 96% of the water lost to evaporation.*

The only way the farmers can survive is to grow crops as they have done in the past.  Reply:  Babylonian-like irrigation, the indiscriminate flooding of fields, is the most inefficient way to apply water to crops. Controlled water applications can save 15-40% of water over flooding.  The use of 80% of the river flow to create crops that contribute little more than 5% of the basin’s income raises the question of are the best crops being raised.  As an example, tomatoes and other prized vegetables can offer 4 or more times the income per hectare as corn, thus easily allowing a great reduction (50-75%) in irrigated land area and water.  Pecans can offer even  more.  Hydroponic greenhouses can offer up to 900 times the sales for production on a hectare of land.*

 Variations in rainfall each year determine how much water can go to Lake Chapala. Reply:  This was true for over 10,000 years and up to 1930.   In those times over 5000 Mm3 of water flowed to the lake, flushed out the lake each year and half and went on to the ocean.  The combination of the over exploitation of the Lerma River basin for irrigation, now about 800,000 hectares,  and the building of over 500 dams and reservoirs since 1930 had by 1978 reduced the water leaving the basin to zero.  A graph of rainfall in the basin to lake level makes it clear that since 1978 that the level of the lake does not correlate with rainfall but is now strickly under the control of man.  In years of high rainfall the lake has not necessarily come up and in years of low rainfall it has not always gone down.  Given a mean annual rainfall of 735 mm there have been variations of about 10%, 660 to 810 mm over the years.  Yet, in a year when the rain was 10% lower the lake most often did not experience a 10% reduction of incoming river flow but a 100% cut off.  In a year when there was a 10% increase that extra water has often been captured by the dams for later use or further expansion of irrigation.*

The continued operation of the pumping plant at Ocotlan to extract water from the lake is justified.     Reply:  In the 40’s and 50’s the flow out of the lake became too low to assure operation for Guadalajara of its hydroelectric plants on the Rio Santiago.  As a solution in 1947 a pumping plant was built next to the outlet gate to the lake at Ocotlan so as to be able to pump water (526 Mm3/year) up and out of the lake so as to place water into the Rio Santiago.  In 1956 the on-going pumping of this plant was then dedicated to putting water into the Rio Santiago so it could then be taken by canals to Guadalajara for its new water supply.  That flow was on the order of 300-400 Mm3/year.  The last time the lake was full was 35 years ago in 1978.  When the pipeline from the lake to Guadalajara was placed in operation in 1991, 140-180 Mm3/year, that pumping station at Ocotlan has continued to this day to move water from the lake into the Rio Santiago to now meet the irrigation of 1000s of hectares of farms along that river as well as to supply some industries.  This pumping plant may at this time have 15 pumps with a maximum capacity of   709 Mm3/year. It is estimated that it currently pumps about 200 Mm3/year out of the lake to flow own the Rio Santiago for use in farm irrigation.*

The lake is no longer sustainable given that no water has flowed out since 1978 and never will with the current water allocation concepts. Thus the lake will in time become unusable for any domestic use due to the greater and greater accumulation of heavy metals and salts,  and in turn it will be unable to support fish.  The day the lake cannot serve Guadalajara is the day that great city dies.

Should lakeside villages with no farm land which have for 1000s of years depended on fish from the lake and raising chayote in the mountain rocks for their livelihood be a concern for allocating water from the Lerma River basin?    Yes. All persons along the of its wate

Local population about the lake should not be permitted to use the water from Lake Chapala.   Reply:    They would require 2-3 cm/year.  Do the people at lakeside have to forgo use of the lake water and thus be subjected to mental retardation of their children due to heavy metals in the well water which they must use since use of lake water is denied?


Water Savings from Better Farming Methods along Lerma River

Each 1% of the 70-80% of the Lerma River flow used by farmers that can be saved

by better farming methods can sustain an added 400,000 people in Guadalajara.

Methods for Less Water + More Income per Hectare:

  • Low pressure/level sprinklers for grain crops = 10-20% savings, up to 45% savings over gravity systems


  • Drip or bubbler lines for vegetable + fruit crops in rows = 8-15% savings


  • Soil moisture sensors at root depth to reduce excessive watering =  10-30% savings


  • Choose higher value crops – tomatoes at $90,000/hectare compared to corn at $20,000/hectare


  • Convert to hydroponic greenhouses – vegetable sales of $17 to 22 million/hectare/year


What Must Be Done?


What is needed in the next month?

To raise the lake volume from the present 62% back up to 80% full*


What is needed in the coming year?

To develop an allocation agreement that assures that any shortage of water in the Rio Lerma is shared     equally by all users of the river.


What change is required to assure water to Guadalajara in the future?

To reduce the current 80% use of the river by irrigators by use of better methods and the selection of crops that produce more income on less land with less water.


What will be the impact of the better use of irrigation water?

For each 1% reduction of the current 80% use of the river for irrigation it      will be possible to   provide        water for 400,000 people.

Depth of Water Extraction from the Lake1 Required to Supply Guadalajara2 250 liters/day/person/year


Supply, Mm3/Yr          Total, cm     Dry 8 Months    Wet 4 Months            Pop. Served


100                             9                     6                 3                           1,100,000


180 (Single pipe)      16                     11               5                           2,000,000


240 (Concession)      22                     15               7                           2,600,000


300                           27                     18               9                           3,300,000


400                           36                     24               12                         4,400,000

  1. The average depth of Lake Chapala is 700 cm when full, volume of 7900 Mm3, area 114,000 hectares
  2. Assume city population to be served by the pipeline from Lake Chapala is 2.4 million
  3. Annual evaporation from the lake: 140 cm in dry season plus 70cm in rainy season. Total = 210 cm


Existing Single Pipeline from Lake Chapala to Guadalajara


Diameter –    2.1 m                                       Sections – 7050, each 6 meters long

Length of Pipeline –   42.4 km                      Installation Year – 1991 (22 years age)

Failure rate at 20 years age – 1%                   Pipe sections expected to fail soon –   70



Cost of installing a 2nd pipeline – $2000-3000 million   (A cost similar to the Pan Am Games cost overrun)


Cost to inspect for failing sections in existing pipeline – $30-35 million*


Cost to install a laser acoustical monitoring system to define future failing sections – $90-100 million *


Cost to reinforce up to 70 failing sections – $100,000/section (guess), $7-10 million total. 7-10 days for each section


* Accomplished in recent years for pipelines to Mexico City and for the Guadalajara’s pipeline to Calderon Dam



Economics of Proposed Dams (Pesos)


Name                    Cost Billions                             Cost/m3 Storage4     Cost/Person Served


El Zapotillo1                   4.5                                               5                                 1957


Purgatorio2                     3.9                                           696                                 3900


Arcediano3                     3.2                                                8                                3200


  1. If crest is lowered by 25 meters from the planned 105 meters there may be much less water to flow to Guadalajara to serve 1,000,000 persons, thus most of the collected water would go to Leon by its planned 140 km pipeline


  1. If the expected water from El Zapotillo for Guadalajara is not produced the unit cost of this already expensive dam, but a necessary match to El Zapotillo, may double.  Its service with El Zapotillo is for 1-1.5 million persons


  1. The water in the Santiago River is so polluted with industrial chemicals, it is expected the 3.5 billion pesos treatment plant linked to this dam will not produce any water usable by Guadalajara. Service to 1,000,000 persons.


  1. Cost for related pipelines and purification systems are not noted in cost of any dam noted below *


Cost of Water Storage for 8 Months/Year1


Facility             Storage, Mm3/Year     Months of Storage   Cost, Billions Pesos


Need for 4.5 million people      274                                  8                         —–

El Zapotillo Dam                     4012                               12                             2

Arcediano Dam                        404                                12                             4

Citizen Rainfall Collection3      274                                   8                         1070

City Rain Collection4               274                                  8                         454


Lake Chapala                           7900                               232 (19 years)        000


  1. Desired storage for 4.5 million people for 8 months at 250 liters/per/day would be 274 Mm3/year, 34 Mm3/month, 1.13 Mm3/day
  2. Of the 910 Mm3 of stored water 44% is to come to Guadalajara (401 Mm3) if the crest elevation remains unchanged at 105 meters. None may reach Guadalajara if crest is set at 85 meters.
  3. Cost for rain collection system and 240 m3 storage tank for each family of four would be 952,000 pesos. A single  square storage tank large enough to hold water for 4.5 million     people for 8 months could be 3 meters high and 9500 meters on a side  *


SIAPA (Metro Agua) Overview


Mission:  Water & Sewers for 4.5 million metro area of Guadalajara. Created in 1978

Water Delivery  –  9.5 to 12 m3/sec,  300 to 380 Mm3/yr ,  180-230 liters/person/day


Water System:  Pipelines – 42.4 km to Lake Chapala, 31 km to Calderon Dam; 190 wells, 29 major pump stations  &   100+ storage tanks in the city,

Open canal (Guayabo):  26 km length??? In Guadalajara  (6 Mm3/year evaporation loss)                                        Possible canals from past yet in operation:   Atequiza – 25 km,  Las Pintas – 25 km

Potable water treatment plants – 4 with a total of 12.3 m3/sec production capacity

7700 km of water distribution pipelines, with 15-30% leakage & 463 km of aqueducts open to evaporation           (Other report:  3458 km of which 2544 (74%) is over 70 years old. 12% water theft.)

7200  km of sewer pipes

Sewage treatment:     xxxx plant –  m3/sec      yyyyy plant –    m3/sec, provides  for over 90% of city wastewater,          a major success in recent time

Staff of   3044                          *




Current debt –  $2500-3500  million   ($556/citizen)


Annual budget deficit –  $550 million ($122/citizen)


Customers with unpaid bills – 20%  (Tonala is most significant and persistent)


Wide variations in water delivery in the city :  100 liters/person/day to 400 liters/person/day


Perhaps  100,000 to 400,000 customers are waiting  to be connected to water & sewer


Flooding of older parts of city, to depths of a meter from rain, remains to be solved


Combined waste water and storm sewers will challenge sewage treatment plants being built. *


If Guadalajara Provide Bottled Water for its People

Would that Offer Savings for Both the People and City?


Price to People          Savings to people1                               City Revenue2

Pesos                         Pesos/%                         Pesos/bottle, Total

9                           15/63%                          0/0


12                         12/50%                          3/702 million pesos/yr3


15                         9/38%                            6/1404 million pesos/yr

  1. Current retail price for a 19 liter bottle of water is 24 pesos
  2. Production cost for 19 liters of bottled water is 3 pesos and delivery cost is 6 pesos = 9 pesos                                  total
  3. City revenue could pay off current SIAPA 2500 million pesos debt in 3. 5 years       *


The Lerma River Water Allocation


Farm                       Lake Chapala

Irrigation       Evaporation*          Mexico City           Guadalajara       Industry                Other


82-86%                            2-3%                     4-5%                           4-5%                         2-3%                      2%


River length:   750 km                                                              Rainfall basin area:  54,400 km2

Rainfall annual average across basin:   735 cm                           Volume of rainfall:  40,000 Mm3/year


Runoff:  5000-5600 Mm3/year  (14% of rain is runoff)              Evaporation from Lerma River:  8.6 Mm3/year

Rainfall distribution:  80-84% – evaporation, 14% – runoff, 2-6% – infiltration into ground


Dams/Reservoirs:    500+,      5000+ Mm3 capacity

Treatment plants:     100+   18 m3/sec   Capacity                       Basin closure:  Since 1978

*Rainfall in Lake Chapala basin compensates for 96% of the evaporation from the lake. *



Update of the Water Concession for Guadalajara


Present concession of 240 Mm3/year was established 30 years ago in 1986 when population was 2.89 million, and water usage averages 227 liters/person/day


Current city population is 4.5 million which in 50 years will reach 7.14 million at a 1% growth rate, 9.14 million at a 1.5% growth rate and 11.85 million at a 2% growth rate. Most probable growth rate is 1.3%.


In the next 27 years the population at a growth rate of 1.3% will be 6.30 million. If an average 250 liters/person/day supply is planned for that period a concession of 575 Mm3/year is required.


For each 1% reduction in the current 70-80% use of the Lerma River by crop irrigation, it would be possible to provide enough water for 400,000 persons in the city.  Thus a 5% reduction of water used for Lerma River supported irrigation would permit a transfer of water to Guadalajara to support the added 2 million persons expected in the coming 27 years.   To address the next 50 years, with a projected population of 8.5 million, given a 1.3% growth rate, it will require a 10% reduction of water use for Lerma River supported irrigation.


Water use reductions for irrigation of 15-20% are fully achievable via (1) several more efficient irrigation methods and (2) selecting crops with much greater sales/hectare to be grown on smaller land areas.   *


Benefits of a Constant Lake Level

It is impossible to create a beach, a marina or any public facility at the lake’s edge when the next year may see a 1-2 meter rise or fall of the lake’s water level.  This is a significant detriment to developing economy/tourism. It is technically possible via 500+ dams under government control to maintain the lake at a constant level.


It is impossible for the fish in the lake to multiply when the natural grass at the lake’s edge, where all fish begin life, is lost year after year.   The continuous lowering of the lake level from 1992 to 2002 resulted in the loss of over 60% of the fish in the lake and in turn the livelihood of 2000 families that depended on fishing income.


Since 1978 the Lerma River basin has been closed, all of its water claimed for various uses with irrigation being 70-80% of that use. With the basin’s closure no longer has it been possible have water flow from Lake Chapala.

Since 1992 the construction of over 500 dams and reservoirs in the basin has made it possible to collect and store the entire 5000 Mm3/year flow of the Lerma River.  Thus, the allocation of water within and beyond the basin came under the control of man, and variations in rainfall became secondary. *


Lake Chapala – Ocotlan Pumping Plant


1947 –  Time of construction to increase water flow from the lake to the Rio Santiago to assure better operation of hydroelectric power plants on the river creating electric for Guadalajara.  473 Mm3/year  = maximum possible capacity at time of initial operation with 10 pumps, each at 1.5 m3/sec = 15 m3/sec.  Later 5 more pumps may have been installed which would have increased capacity to 709 Mm3/year.

1947 – 1950s    Water was pumped to maintain electric plants on Rio Santiago = 520 Mm3/year average

1956 – Pumping began next to assure sufficient water in the Rio Santiago as a drinking water supply to Guadalajara via the Atequiza Canal off the Corona Dam at Atotonilquillo and on to the Las Pintas Canal to the city

1964 – The Ocotlan Pumping station was rehabilitated

1978-1983   Pumping into Rio Santiago = 158 Mm3/year maximum.  Water entering Lake Chapala from the Lerma River was 536 Mm3/year (Simons 1984, Amezcua 1985)

1991 – Pipeline from Lake Chapala to Guadalajara commenced operation,  110,000 – 180,000 Mm3/year

1996 – Water for irrigation along Rio Santiago =  92 Mm3/year, includes  4 Mm3/year for industry.  Guayabo Canal links Atequiza Canal to the pipeline from Chapala  with a capacity of 126 Mm3/year (Gonzalez 1996) *



Charge to the Public for Water Supply


Location                                            $/Cubic Meter


Copenhagen                                      104

Paris                                                             84

London                                                         43

Los Angeles                                         26

Madrid                                                          22


Mexico City                                          3

Guadalajara                                           5

Chapala                                                        10



Mexico is subsidizing the cost of water by 60-80%



Desalinated Pacific Ocean Water for Guadalajara, Cost (Pesos)1


Component                    Cost (Billion)         Cost/Person/Year      Lake C.7


Desalination Plant2                             23                            3406                                   340

Pipeline from Pacific Ocean3                                       14                            2106                                               ——

Desalination of Water/Year4                          2.5                        560                    560

Pumping From Pacific Ocean5                        5                        1110                     —-

TOTAL                                   44.5                      2220                     900


  1. Analysis based on 4.5 million population, 250 liters/person/day, 91 m3/person/year, 411 Mm3/year
  2. At a construction cost of $20 /liter/day capacity =  $5000/person served
  3. Pressurized dual concrete pipes, 200km from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara
  4. Production cost at $6.6 /m3
  5. 1664 meters total pumping head, $2/kwh for electric,  $12/m3 to operate the pumps
  6. Financing over 30 years at 5% interest
  7. Reduced cost for Guadalajara if the water to be treated was from Lake Chapala, should the lake become too polluted, that is to not be filled by the Lerma River to sufficiently flush out accumulated salts and undesirable minerals in the future. *


Evaporation Losses

Dams/Reservoirs  in the Lerma River Basin (5200 Mm3) –    Assume 3-5%  evaporates (200 Mm3/yr)



Irrigation in the basin (4000 Mm3/yr on 795,000 Hectares) – Assume 30-50% evaporates  =                                 1600 Mm3/yr



Lerma River –   Assume 30 m wide, 750 km long, 6 mm/day evaporation –  50 Mm3/year



Lake Chapala –  2300 Mm3 evaporates but  2200 Mm3 is replace by rain in that lake’s basin



Irrigation by farmers about Lake Chapala –  Estimated to be 20% of 100 Mm3/year  = 20 Mm3/yr



Irrigation by farmers on the Santiago River with water pumped from Lake Chapala – 50% of 200Mm3


TOTAL EVAPORATION: 2070  Mm3/year   of the 5000 Mm3 of rain runoff that reaches the Rio Lerma *


Development of the Federal Zone for the Public

By the 1917 Constitution all bodies of water in Mexico belong to the federal government to include 10 meters past the maximum edge   of a lake and 5 meters on either side of an arroyo centerline

Lake Chapala as the largest lake in the nation is unique. With 115,000 hectares, 114,700 + 220 with its 10 meter    added edge at Cota 97.8 meters, it possesses more area than all the rest of the lakes in Mexico.

Each 100 meters of exposed shore provides an area of 2200 hectares.  When the lake is 80% full the area is        113,000, thus about 2000 hectares are beyond the water’s edge and are in the Federal Zone.

The lake has not been filled in 38 years, not since 1978, and may not be expected to be filled to more than 80% of its maximum volume at which point its flooded area is 113,000 hectares.

Thus, there are about 2000 hectares of shore that may never be covered with water given that the Lerma River              basin has been “closed” since 1978, given its demand for twice as much irrigated farm land as water.

The population about the lake is about 300,000 with about 20 major villages at the lake’s edge.  Most of these villages are over 400 years old, with a past population of perhaps 1/10th today, and are characterized by narrow streets and no interior space to create public facilities needed by today’s population. Many villages need public land to develop schools, libraries, auditoriums, parks, beaches, marinas, and parking. Currently the public cannot reach or use the lake because to do so they must cross the federal zone.  Yet, private persons year after year due to their wealth and political power build out on to the lake and even fill in the lake.  Now is the time to develop policies for the best use of up to 10 hectares of exposed shoe for each of the 20 major villages on the lake shore, a land mass of 10% of that shore that will never be under water in the future.  *

Water Delivery in Liters/Person/Day/Year for a Population of 2.4 Million People


Supply, Mm3/Year            Supply, m3/sec             Liters/Person/Day/Year

World Average                         —-                                               70

88                                            2.8                                           100

131                                          4.2                                           150

180  (Single pipeline)               5.8                                           206

219                                          6.9                                           250

240  (Concession amount)         7.6                                           273

263                                          8.3                                           300


Existing 2.1 meter diameter single pipeline, 42.3 km from Lake Chapala to Guadalajara

Ideal flow rate for this pipeline is 0.93m/sec velocity which delivers 102 Mm3/year if pumping 24 hours/day

With a 176% increase in water velocity (220% increase in pipe friction = added electric power ) the flow would increase to 180 Mm3/year. The permitted use is 240 Mm3/year, which is the 1986 concession from CONAGUA .

World Water usage (liters/capita/day):  USA-576, Italy-386,  Mexico-366,  Spain-320,  Germany-193  *

Water Allocation about the World, %


Nation                                    Agriculture               Public              Industry


Mexico                                    77 – 85                            11-14                      4-9


World Average                        59 – 69                            7                            2


India                                        93                                   —                           —


South Asia                               91                                   —                           —


China                                       87                                   —                           —


USA                                        41                                   13                         46


Western Europe                         8                                   16                         77      *



Water Law

Challenges of applying law for land to water due to:  variability, mobility and simultaneous use of water

Approaches to water law

Raparian Rights – water being a commodity common to all and property to none

Prior Appropriation –  the doctrine of whoever first puts water to beneficial use has the claim

Regulation may be at federal, state or on a basin level

Water uses:

Agricultural – will reduce the total supply of water

Hydro-Electric – will use but return water to the water way

Recreational – does not diminish use by others


Constitution of 1917 places regulation of all water under federal mandate

Regulation has seemed to have transitioned from land grant to federal to state to basin control *

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