The construction of neoliberalism and its effect on Mexican water policy [abstract]
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After the debt crisis of 1982, Mexico began implementing neoliberal policy, which culminated in the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The neoliberal reforms fundamentally changed environmental governance in Mexico within a relatively short period of time from 1988 to 1994. This analysis explores the effects of pursuing neoliberal policy on water resource management and drinking water services, drawing examples from the Lerma-Chapala Watershed. A combination of ecological data, policy implementation chronologies, Mexican newspaper reports, and social research on actors provided a multi-disciplinary approach to analyze governance. The research indicates that the construction of power and discourses of neoliberalism were important to the actual implementation of policies. In turn, these policies improved drinking water both nationally and in the Lerma-Chapala watershed. At the same time, however, these improvements have come at the cost of increased stakeholder competition and deteriorating water resources.