(2021). Quantifying Embedded Water in Agricultural Goods for Sustainable Water Use in Mexico. Master’s thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
Mexico is known to be a large user of groundwater resources for the production of food commodities and most of the production is located in water stressed regions. This study explores the embedded (virtual) water of the agricultural goods produced in Mexico and track its changes over the period of 2007 to 2013 at a regional and county (municipality) level. With data sets on the mass agricultural production obtained from Mexico’s government agencies and hydrometeorological datasets from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we applied the methods established by Hoekstra et al. (2011) and Marston et al. (2018) to estimate the water volumes allocated for crop production. We estimated the water footprint of crop production (WFP), per tonnage of production (WFUton) and per value of production in Mexican pesos (WFUpesos) for both rainfed and irrigated crops. This allowed us to evaluate the regions with high appropriation of freshwater resources for the agricultural production. The total water footprint of crop production (WFP) in Mexico for both rainfed and irrigated crops over the period of 2007- 2012 averaged 1.73 X 1011 m3 per year (Table 3). The portion that comes from rainfall averaged 8.99 X 1010 m3 per year and the portion from surface water and groundwater averaged 8.29 X 1010 m3/yr. Areas with high water footprint content are mostly located in the North, Central, South-western and in the Yucatan Peninsula which can be susceptible to climate variability making food production more vulnerable.