Water rights transfers are allowed in México under the National Waters Law (LAN) promulgated in 1992. However, water transfers to date have not been widely used and those that have occurred have done so in small quantities and mainly at the level of the irrigation district (ID). We evaluate water policy in México as it relates to transfers and propose alternatives to current policy along the lines of Howe et al. (Water Resources 22(4), 439–445, 1986). Howe et al. proposed guidelines for water markets that comply with efficiency and equity. This guideline is the basis for implementing the approach proposed in this paper. Even though this research targets the Conchos basin, which is the most important tributary to the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo system, the analysis contains experiences and examples of water rights transfers of other Mexican regions. The paper focuses on two main aspects: first, a summarized and structured effort characterizing water resources policy in México in terms of involved institutions, legal aspects, stakeholder roles, etc; second, a series of proposals and recommendations oriented to improving the performance of this policy.

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