Institutional arrangements for water resources development at the river basin level were attempted in Mexico as early as 1947. The establishment of the river basin commissions represented a national effort to promote integrated development of different regions of the country based on the water resources available. The programs implemented by the commissions had many beneficial impacts, primarily in terms of infrastructure development, but much less on long-term improvements in social conditions. Development programs, in spite of very large investments, did not make any meaningful impact in reducing regional inequalities and alleviating poverty due to the lack of knowledge of the environmental conditions of the regions and the basic understanding of the socio-cultural conditions of the local populations.
By Cecilia Tortajada and Nancy Contreras-Moreno, 2007. Article published in Water International, Volume 32, Issue 1, pages 91-104. DOI: 10.1080/02508060708691967