Drought policy in Mexico: A long, slow March toward an integrated and preventive management model
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© 2016 IWA Publishing. Mexico is exposed to droughts and vulnerable to their impacts. Despite a history of serious economic and social consequences from drought, until recently national water policy did not acknowledge this type of natural disaster as a priority issue. This paper analyses how drought policy in Mexico has evolved since the creation of the National Water Commission in 1989 up to 2013, when the most specific initiative in that regard was introduced: the National Drought Program (Programa Nacional Contra la Sequía, PRONACOSE). Over that period of time drought has slowly but steadily gained importance in national water planning and management. Significant initiatives have been implemented, including a national drought early warning and monitoring system. Nevertheless, efforts still focus on compensating economic losses after the fact and little has been achieved in terms of reducing the countrys vulnerability to drought. There is a great need to increase public awareness and boost the scientific knowledge necessary for the design of appropriate preventive measures. A long way remains to establish an effective, forward-looking, integrated and preventive drought management model.