Case Study

Accreditation for the Efficient use of Water


At present, the extraction of national waters in the country faces a principal-agent problem caused by information asymmetries relating to the actual amount of water extracted by users. This situation leads to inefficiency in the use of water and, at times, to the under-declaration of volumes to the Mexican authorities.

The national water program in Mexico, since its publication in 2019, has designated the NMX-AA-179 standard as mandatory. In this regulation, it is established that both the ISPs and the Inspection Units are responsible for the selection, installation and operation of the meters or measurement systems, as well as the remote transmission of the measurement information to the authority. In addition, they play a crucial role in ensuring the correct measurement of national waters through the conformity assessment procedure.

Due to these circumstances, it is imperative to make an accurate measurement of the volumes of national waters extracted. This action contributes significantly to counteracting existing information asymmetries, thus strengthening transparency and efficiency in the management of this vital resource.


According to the recent regulations issued in Mexico as of 2019, it was imperative to have the necessary agencies in place to ensure compliance with these regulations. In collaboration with the Mexican Government, specific documents and criteria were developed applicable to two key entities: the Inspection Bodies and the ISPs.

In an effective synergy with the Mexican Government, it was possible to address the relevant technical and regulatory requirements for both entities. Essential documents developed include:

  1. Application of the criteria to the scheme; Technical evaluation criteria
  2. Criteria of technical competence of the staff in charge of carrying out the services.

The main objective of the above is to ensure compliance by all users of national waters, either effectively or under a concession or assignment title granted by the Mexican Government. These applicable regulations are evaluated by the duly accredited ISPs and Inspection Bodies, to ensure compliance with the established regulations.

Results and impact

In Mexico, the absence of prior regulations to determine the proper use of water has been countered by the current accreditations granted. The following benefits can be noted:

  • COUNTERACTS information asymmetries.
  • PROVIDES CERTAINTY in the volumes extracted.
  • PROVIDES truthful information for both the user and the authority.
  • PREVENTS under-reporting and grabbing of national waters.
  • ELIMINATES measurement costs by the user.

This positive impact contributes directly to Mexico’s Sustainable Development Goals, which seek, by 2030, to significantly increase the efficient use of water resources in all sectors and ensure the sustainability of freshwater extraction and supply to meet current challenges. They aim to reduce water scarcity and significantly reduce the number of people suffering from water deprivation.


Name: Alan Avila Zúñiga

Organisation: EMA – Entidad Mexicana de Acreditación