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Mexico has two kinds of groundwater problems. The first, which is common to many nations, includes groundwater contamination, saltwater intrusion, and severe drawdown in aquifers. The second, which amplifies effects of the physical problems, is a lack of trained professionals in the hydrogeologic sciences. For a country with a population of more than 80 million inhabitants, this is a serious problem.

Of the approximately 2 million km2 of surface land in Mexico, at least 1.2 million km2 are of hydrogeologic interest. Almost 50% of the water used in Mexico comes from groundwater. In many areas, such as the Yucatan peninsula, groundwater is the only source of water available. Approximately 340 aquifers have been identified. Of these, eighty are over-exploited, sixteen have salt water intrusion problems, ten have contamination problems, and five have land subsidence problems associated with groundwater extractions. Drawdowns range from a few meters to more than one hundred meters in the past 50 years in areas of northern Mexico.