Mining Water in Sonora: Grupo México’s “Irregular” Water Permits in the Sonora, Yaqui, and San Pedro River Basins

Mining Water in Sonora: Grupo México’s “Irregular” Water Permits in the Sonora, Yaqui, and San Pedro River Basins

Sonora like its neighboring states on either side of the international border is caught in a deepening water crisis — one that is largely its own making but now made ever more grim by the onslaught of climate change with its more extreme weather, prolonged droughts, and rising temperatures.

Grupo México is a major player in this crisis because of massive consumption of water. The virtual absence until recently of public, media, and governmental scrutiny of Grupo México’s water-use and environmental practices is a testament to the company’s privileged status in Mexico and especially in Sonora.

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Mining Boom in the Sierra Madre

Mining Boom in the Sierra Madre

The Mexican government is making modern mining dreams come true. Nonexistent or unenforced regulations –whether regarding occupational safety, environmental degradation, water extraction, and control of hazardous wastes – make Mexico one of the world’s most profitable countries for the mining industry. Government agencies – both federal and state – that have authority over the mining industry serve as mining boosters rather than as regulators.

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