Programme OS5c Major international
Transboundary river basins in Southern Mexico: water issues and
constraints in international relations
Author(s): Edith Kauffer
Senior Researcher, Doctor in Political
Science, French and Mexican citizenships.
Southern border, river basins, international relations.
Session: OS5c Major international
Mexico is well known as a transboundary river basins actor
concerning the water disputes with United States. The situation of transboundary river basins in the Southern border
of Mexico and the relationships between Mexico, Guatemala and Belize related to water are emerging themes as
well as for researchers as for governments. For an example, the number and definition of existing river basins is
doubtful and data obtained from different sources may consider five, six or seven transboundary river basins.
research tries to expose recent information about transboundary river basins between Mexico, Guatemala and
Belize: we define six river basins as areas drained by a river and its tributaries, four of which are binational and two
trinational. On this basis, we analyse the dynamics of the six transboundary river basins regarding their main water
issues. There is no apparent water dispute, neither water agreements between Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.
Nevertheless the study indicates the existence of constraints in order to develop bilateral and trilateral cooperation
about shared water resources and suggests opportunities for future transboundary water management.