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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
Date of original text: 24 January 1991 (2017)

Constitutional provisions

Date of text: 18 April 1999

Right to water: See Title 7.3.

Natural resources: Article 79 establishes that “The Confederation shall lay down principles on fishing and hunting and in particular on the preservation of the diversity of fish species, wild mammals and birds. Article 80deals with protection of animals."


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: 28 October 1998 (2017)
Date of original text: 16 February 1992 (2007)


The political, social, economic and administrative systems that govern water management and conservation; good practices; good governance; decentralization; water user’s associations
Date of original text: 03 October 1975 (2014)
Date of original text: 01 October 2010 (2013)


Waterworks; water supply systems; dams; hydropower systems; irrigation systems
Date of original text: 21 June 1991 (2011)
Date of original text: 01 October 2010 (2013)

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: 22 December 1916 (2012)

Water and Environment

Water in environmentally-sensitive areas; ‘water demand’ by ecosystems; protection forests; water conservation zones; environmental impact assessment
Date of original text: 16 January 1991 (2015)

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: 03 October 1975 (2014)


Freshwater resources located below the surface of the earth; aquifers; groundwater abstraction; well-sinking; boreholes; hydrogeology
Date of original text: 01 October 2010 (2013)

Disaster Resilience

Water-related hazards; flood; drought; water shortage; adaptation to climate change; early warning system/emergency intervention system
Date of original text: 21 June 1991 (2011)