The XI Mexican National Congress, under the title “Groundwater in Mexico: Current status and future challenges”, took place from 11-13 October 2017 Puebla, Mexico. It was organised by the Mexican Association of Geohydrology (AGM) was supported by IAH’s Executive and Mexico National Chapter, and the Latin American Association for Groundwater Development (ALHSUD), with presidents from each association present at the event.
More than 250 delegates were drawn from across the country from universities, research centres, government institutions and water, environment and energy companies. The wide-ranging topics covered quality, environment and management, water supply to large cities, transboundary aquifers and regional fluxes, hydrogeophysics and the importance of water in energy generation, mining industry and geotechnics. A total of 115 oral presentations and posters set out Mexico’s most pressing water problems under six fora and eight main topics.
The meeting highlighted the growing interest in groundwater as an essential factor for the resilience of cities and a main consideration for socio-economic development – without water there are no investments. However, there is still much to be done and among the short-term actions in Mexico is the creation of a directory of specialists, involving more students at undergraduate and postgraduate level in groundwater issues, creating knowledge networks and establishing certified status for groundwater specialists.
Finally, it is noteworthy that groundwater is seen as a strategic resource on the national agenda for Mexico, with recognition of the urgent need for action on groundwater recharge and investigations of groundwater at greater depths, to cushion the impacts on aquifers in urban concentrations.