CEC receives submission on aqueduct project in Monterrey, Mexico

Montreal, 20 July 2016—The Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) received a submission on 11 July 2016, which asserts that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws in relation to the construction and operation of an aqueduct from Veracruz to Monterrey.

The Submitter, a group in Mexico which has requested confidentiality, asserts that the “Monterrey VI” project, promoted by the Nuevo León state government and which consists of the transfer of water by pipeline from the Pánuco river basin in Veracruz to the City of Monterrey, threatens the ecological balance and biodiversity of Veracruz, Nuevo León, and the two states in between—Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí. The Submitter contends that this transfer is not in compliance with Mexican federal and international law.

The Submitter also asserts that the removal of water from the Pánuco River, which Submitter characterizes as one of the most polluted basins in Mexico, will have adverse impacts on the indigenous communities that rely on the river as an important natural resource. Additionally, the Submitter contends that the Monterrey area does not need this water as it will have sufficient water quantity until 2050, if other water supply and conservation measures are implemented.

The Secretariat now has 30 days to review the submission and determine whether it meets the admissibility requirements in Article 14(1) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

For more information, please visit the CEC’s Submissions on Enforcement Matters webpage, and the registry of Submission SEM-16-002 (Monterrey VI Aqueduct).