SSWM Mexico

Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management in rural areas in Mexico

Visit project page (in Spanish)
  • 2018

  • Client

    Interamerican Development Bank (IADB)


    CONAGUA Technical Officers, Water State Commissions (CEAS) and decision-makers at Municipalities.

    Key Partner

    SARAR Transformación

    The provision of drinking water and sanitation services in rural areas of Latin America presents significant challenges because of the dispersed conditions of households, the lack of resources and the lack of technical capabilities for planning, design, construction, operation, and operation maintenance of the systems.


    To solve this problem, the Mexican National Water Commission (CONAGUA), in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), initiated the “Program for the Sustainability of Drinking Water and Sanitation Services in Rural Communities” (PROSSAPYS) to increase drinking water and sanitation coverage in rural areas in Mexico. It was within the framework of this project that the IADB contacted us to prepare a knowledge tool specially designed for those responsible for the development of water and sanitation projects in rural areas, i.e. the technicians of CONAGUA, the State Water Commissions (CEAS) and the decision-makers and staff of the municipalities.

    In collaboration with SARAR Transformación, our partners in Tepoztlán (Morelos), we developed the toolbox “Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management in rural areas in Mexico”. This tool offers a collection of water systems and sanitation systems applicable in rural areas in Mexico, with technologies considered appropriate given the demographic, economic and climatic conditions, and resource requirements for installation, operation, and maintenance of the systems.

    Specifically, we, as seecon, carried out the following activities:


    Explore and discover

    • We identified and analysed the different scenarios in rural areas in Mexico, and characterised the areas based on three variables for the definition of the scenarios: water availability, population dispersion and density, and capabilities and resources available to the population.


    Co-create and design

    • We designed 6 types of water systems for rural areas, based on the functional groups of the catchment, conveyance, storage and disinfection, distribution and safe household management. In addition, we adapted the sanitation systems defined by our SANDEC eawag colleagues.



    • In December 2018 we offered a workshop in Mexico City with 30 representatives of CONAGUA, CEA, IMTA, NGOs and civil society.


    Reach and connect

    • We prepared the toolbox that allows the users to characterise the area in which they work, selecting the options that best reflect the realities of their community. This generates a typical scenario of rural areas in Mexico, with its description and examples, as well as a list of water supply and sanitation systems that, in principle, could represent possible solutions.

    Links to publications (in Spanish)

    • This is a link to the article about the toolbox published in the IADB Blog “Back to the source”

    Let’s work together!

    This tool is currently visited by hundreds of professionals in the sector throughout Latin America. Therefore, if you are interested in offering a toolbox with great power of reach and impact, contact us!

    Contact us