Just how much water does Mexico's mining industry consume?Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has repeatedly accused the min...Just how much water does Mexico's mining industry consume?
Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has repeatedly accused the mining industry of being one of the country's biggest water consumers, and has used this line of attack to justify not granting miners any concessions during his four years in power.
"That's why we [also] haven't approved fracking, like in other parts – because of the excessive use of water .... And we haven't given out any mining concession since we've been governing because they're abusers," AMLO said in an August press conference.
But data from water regulator Conagua does not back up the president's rhetoric.
Conagua's water rights registry shows that 75% of water extracted under concessions in 2021 was done so by the agricultural sector, followed by public supply (15%) and the electric power industry (4.5%), excluding hydroelectric generation. The remaining 5.2% was distributed among the entire industrial sector, including the mining industry.
Going into more detail, in its 2022 sustainability report, Mexican mining chamber Camimex said mining only accounted for 0.35% of total national water consumption.