FAOLEX Database

Framework Law

The main law applicable to water resources management, which covers all of the following areas: administration; management, conservation and use of freshwater resources; water rights; waterworks; water supply

Constitutional provisions

Date of original text: 05 October 1988 (2019)

Right to water: No provisions regarding the right to water.

Natural resources: Article 20 lists the natural resources owned by the Union. The States, Federal District and Counties, as well as agencies of direct administration of the Union, are assured, as provided by law, participation in the results of exploitation of petroleum or natural gas, hydraulic energy resources, and other mineral resources in their respective territories, continental shelf, territorial sea or exclusive economic zone, or financial compensation for such exploitation. The following constitute property of the Union: lakes, rivers and any watercourses on lands that it owns; interstate waters; waters that serve as borders with other countries; waters that extend into or come from a foreign territory; as well as the bordering lands and river beaches. On the other hand, the property of the States includes: surface or underground waters, whether flowing, emerging or in reservoirs, with the exception, in the latter case, as provided by law, of those resulting from works carried out by the Union.


Water used for irrigation, forestry and aquaculture

Water Supply and Sanitation

Provision of water services by public utilities or commercial organizations; water supply for domestic, industrial or other purposes; right to safe and clean drinking water and basic sanitation; quality of piped water; sewerage
Date of original text: 05 January 2007 (2016)
Date of original text: 08 August 1945 (1979)


The political, social, economic and administrative systems that govern water management and conservation; good practices; good governance; decentralization; water user’s associations


Waterworks; water supply systems; dams; hydropower systems; irrigation systems

Water Resources Management and Water Rights

Ownership and control of water resources; abstraction and diversion of water; allocation and quotas; riparian rights; priority of rights; free water use
Date of original text: 10 July 1934 (1998)

Water and Environment

Date of original text: 05 January 2007 (2016)

Water Quality and Pollution Control

Control of pollution and quality of freshwater bodies and groundwater; agricultural point and non-point sources of pollution; water quality standards
Date of original text: 10 July 1934 (1998)


Freshwater resources located below the surface of the earth; aquifers; groundwater abstraction; well-sinking; boreholes; hydrogeology
Date of original text: 10 July 1934 (1998)

Disaster Resilience

Water-related hazards; flood; drought; water shortage; adaptation to climate change; early warning system/emergency intervention system

Transboundary Waters

Transboundary effects; international basin institutions; international agreements; transboundary coordination; transboundary aquifers
Date of text: 02 August 2010