Water and Sanitation


Research and Training

A deep understanding of the problems

Scientific knowledge is the cornerstone for understanding the current and future problems of water resources and nutrition. It gives us the information required so that our actions as FEMSA Foundation are solidly based.

The Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean and the FEMSA Biotechnology Center of the Tecnológico de Monterrey are integrated by renowned experts in different areas of specialization,

who, through research, join forces to widen the panorama in their areas of study, providing new and different approaches and solutions to water and nutrition issues. Both institutions manage and transfer knowledge to other specialists and leaders to enrich their decision-making process.

Water is always in the spotlight

Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean

Creating and disseminating knowledge, as well as building capacities, are essential aspects for achieving sustainability and successful projects. In 2008, we partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank and Tecnológico de Monterrey to launch the Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean. Its specific goals are research and consulting on water use and management, the design of training programs, and the creation of a platform for integrating information.

At the Water Center, we bring researchers from different specialties together, who generate knowledge, in order to train the human capital in charge of managing and operating projects. As part of the knowledge dissemination mechanism, the Decisions Theater was created to support our specialists and authorities with relevant information (taking into account different variables) in the decision-making process for water matters.

We currently have two research projects:

  • Regional Watershed
    and Coastal Areas Management Program.

    It consists of identifying current and potential water problems, as well as analyzing the risks associated to climate change in Argentina, Haiti, Mexico, and El Salvador, in order to strengthen co-operation in the management of these areas within the context of climate change, facilitating the design and execution of technical, and financial mechanisms for their administration.
  • Study of Enzymatic Degradation.
    Through the purification and characterization of two new types of extremely heat-resistant enzymes, water contaminant toxicity can be reduced, lowering the cost of traditional methods by saving energy and, in so doing, reducing the environmental impact.

Latin America

Tecnológico de Monterrey and Inter-American Development Bank.

Total: USD $1,979,646.39
FEMSA Foundation: USD $1,383,894.78

2008 / Duration: 7 years


Decisions Theater project

“It is very important to have a space where the issue of water can be tackled by involving all the players who intervene directly in said issue.”

Strategic forums of water

Sharing experiences to grow

Improving the water situation around the world is everyone’s duty: we all must take corrective and (above all) preventive measures towards water conservation as well as keeping it clean and safe for human consumption. This also includes all public and private initiative bodies, regardless of their business activities.

If everyone (individuals and organizations) commits to mitigating the impact of their

activities, considering their possibilities, a positive chain reaction can be triggered. Certainly, ensuring good-quality water supply is a matter of team work. We are convinced that we can make it happen as long as we join forces. Sharing knowledge, best practices, and experiences is a way to attract agents of change to our initiative and encourage them to keep working for sustainability.

We actively participate in the organization of international forums, where leaders of water resource initiatives share their work and bring topics to the table in order to find solutions as a group. These forums also enable us to support the work of institutions by handing out awards in different categories.

Water Prize

Since 2009, together with the Inter-American Development Bank, we have been handing out the IDB-FEMSA Water Prize to recognize public authorities and service operators in Latin America and the Caribbean that apply efficient solutions to water-related problems in an innovative way. In 2015, we handed out this award at the “Demand Solutions: Ideas for Improving Life” event organized by IDB in Lima, Peru.

The winners in the three categories were:

  • NeatWork (Water and Sanitation Management).
    This is a software developed by Agua para la Vida to respond to the reality of water projects in rural communities in Nicaragua.
  • AKVO Caddisfly y AKVO Flow (Innovation).
    Sustainable digital applications and tools developed by AKVO to improve water and sanitation management in rural zones.
  • Pimp my carroça (Solid Waste).
    Project by the Brazilian artist Mundano, focusing on recognizing the work of informal recyclers and raising awareness on recycling.


Agua Para La Vida

“Receiving this award makes us proud and encourages us to keep working, with renewed effort, to help rural communities of Nicaragua that still do not have clean and safe water.”

World Water Week in Stockholm

During World Water Week in Stockholm, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), institutions gathered to share perspectives on what has been achieved with regard to the Millennium Development Goals and to propose new work plans for sustainable development goals. With the collaboration of The Guardian and SIWI, we organized a panel on the topic “How to work together to incorporate knowledge on water into climate policy?’’ The discussion between world leaders covered the pertinence of including water as a priority in the UN’s climate agenda for the imminent meeting of the COP 21 in Paris. The panel was moderated by The Guardian, and comprised of representatives of the World Water Council, World Economic Forum, World Water Week, General Mills, World Wildlife Fund and FEMSA Foundation. The topic generated much interest in the +100 attendees and the session went over its allotted time by around 20 minutes. The consensus of the panel was that COP 21 is not the end of the process, but rather one step to be taken.

We also collaborated in the Latin America and Caribbean Day with the Inter-American Development Bank, and other organizations, to discuss urgent water-related topics. We set out action plans and strategies to approach sustainable development goal number six dedicated to water. Finally, we supported the presentation of the book Water and Cities in Latin America – Challenges for Sustainable Development, which was coordinated by the Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean along with SIWI, UNEP and CAF.