Over the past 20 years, the Tinker Foundation has awarded seven grants to Environmental Law Institute (ELI) for programs to strengthen existing environmental laws and/or their practice through the training of NGOs, the private sector, judges and decision makers in legal tools for resource management. Following Mexico's constitutional reform to affirm the human right to water in early 2012, ELI is using this two year grant to collaborate with Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA) to inform the development and implementation of a General Water Law that will regulate the newly defined constitutional right to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation. The reform mandates that the Federal Congress issue this General Water Law in 360 days, a condensed timeframe that is intended to prompt immediate action by Congress and signals Mexico’s intent to be a leader in confronting issues of significance in international governance agendas.
The focus of ELI's collaboration with CEMDA will be on strengthening the capacity of Mexico’s federal representatives to draft effective and practical legislation that holds states and municipalities responsible for upholding the right, and to then support the governments of the state of Veracruz and one of its municipalities to design and implement systems that guarantee and deliver a sufficient supply of clean and affordable water for personal and domestic use. The project partners expect to draw on the experiences in Veracruz to inform implementation in other settings.