Integrated Water Demand Management

Published: 06 April 2017
Last edited: 16 October 2017

Water demand reduction has occurred through: a) identifying and removing invasive, water-guzzling tree and reed species (such as carrizo, pinabete, and the pino salado); b) removal of some irrigation channels; and c) the setting up of a monitoring system for water quantity and quality in the Protected Area. A further major contribution is represented by the efforts to encourage the adaptation of agricultural and cattle-raising practices, centered around migrating from alfafa production to nopal. The nopal needs a tenth of the water that alfafa requires to grow, and can be used for human consumption, and as a substitute for cattle fodder.


Education, training and other capacity development activities
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Management planning
Technical interventions and infrastructure
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

a) Knowledge and data on water use by different components of the socio-ecological system in the protected area;

b) monitoring systems;

c) awareness-raising about the importance of preserving the ecosystem for maintaining community benefits;

d) economic and human resources to be able to carry out the labor-intensive rehabilitation work;

e) innovation-friendly local producers who are willing to be the first ones to modify their practices.

Lessons learned

a) The restoration of the wetlands has been and continues to be a race against time. Restoration efforts seeming to be always one step behind the socio-economic pressures that are causing the continued water extraction.

b) The challenges of restoring water levels in the wetlands are not only economic and physical, but also social and psychological in nature. Much work also has to be focused on convincing producers to adapt practices in the face of lack of knowledge and change aversion.

c) Without accurate scientific guidance and data on water consumption, it is not possible to carry out effective integrated water demand management.

d) It is very important that all governmental actors working in and around the PA work together and synergistically.

e) Future work should focus on developing an alliance of government actors to reduce the socio-economic pressures on water extraction in the reserve