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Correction published on 10 June 2021, see Sustainability 2021, 13(12), 6652.
Article

What Do Environmental Flows Mean for Long-term Freshwater Ecosystems’ Protection? Assessment of the Mexican Water Reserves for the Environment Program

1
Water Management Department, Civil Engineering and Geosciences Faculty, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
2
WWF-Mexico, CP 06100 Mexico City, Mexico
3
Sustainability Sciences Department, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad Villahermosa, CP 86280 Villahermosa, Mexico
4
Sustainability Sciences Department, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad Tapachula, CP 30700 Tapachula, Mexico
5
Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores, Unidad Merida UNAM, CP 97357 Yucatan, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Denielle M. Perry
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1240; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031240
Received: 22 December 2020 / Revised: 8 January 2021 / Accepted: 13 January 2021 / Published: 25 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durable Protections for Free-Flowing Rivers)
Almost a decade ago, the Mexican government targeted to establish environmental water reserves (EWR)—a volume of water allocated for ecological protection based on the Environmental Flow Mexican Norm (eflows, NMX-AA-159-SCFI-2012, ratified in 2017)—in strategic low-pressured for water use and high conservation importance river basins throughout the country. To date, 12 EWRs have been declared for up to 50 years, which encompass 295 river basins and ~55% of the national mean annual runoff (MAR). In this article, we conducted a quality evaluation of the EWRs established. First, the EWR level was analyzed against the MAR and according to wider hydrological conditions. The EWR fulfillment was evaluated by comparing the volumes enacted against the theoretical (Norm implementation). Our findings revealed that independently of individual and regional water use and conservation merits context, ~75% of the EWRs met theoretical volumes at least at an acceptable level, of which medians ranged from 24% to 73% MAR (natural parametrization and A–D environmental objectives). These outcomes prove the usefulness and consistency of the Mexican strategic hierarchical approach for eflow assessments. We aim for them to be considered as the baseline for future on-site eflow implementation and environmental water policy assessments, to show the nationwide potential benefits for protecting free-flowing rivers and to encourage a regional escalation of the strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental flows; environmental water reserve; hydrological region; national program; quality assessment; reference values; river basin environmental flows; environmental water reserve; hydrological region; national program; quality assessment; reference values; river basin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Salinas-Rodríguez, S.A.; Barba-Macías, E.; Infante Mata, D.; Nava-López, M.Z.; Neri-Flores, I.; Domínguez Varela, R.; González Mora, I.D. What Do Environmental Flows Mean for Long-term Freshwater Ecosystems’ Protection? Assessment of the Mexican Water Reserves for the Environment Program. Sustainability 2021, 13, 1240. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031240

AMA Style

Salinas-Rodríguez SA, Barba-Macías E, Infante Mata D, Nava-López MZ, Neri-Flores I, Domínguez Varela R, González Mora ID. What Do Environmental Flows Mean for Long-term Freshwater Ecosystems’ Protection? Assessment of the Mexican Water Reserves for the Environment Program. Sustainability. 2021; 13(3):1240. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031240

Chicago/Turabian Style

Salinas-Rodríguez, Sergio A., Everardo Barba-Macías, Dulce Infante Mata, Mariana Z. Nava-López, Iris Neri-Flores, Ricardo Domínguez Varela, and Ignacio D. González Mora 2021. "What Do Environmental Flows Mean for Long-term Freshwater Ecosystems’ Protection? Assessment of the Mexican Water Reserves for the Environment Program" Sustainability 13, no. 3: 1240. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031240

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