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Water Science and Technology

About the Group

The quantitative and qualitative availability of water is at the heart of the development of societies, their economies and ecosystems. In other words, human survival itself depends on good governance of the resource and, more specifically, on responses to the most pressing challenges, among which is climate change.

In Mexico, as in other countries, the population, renewable water and GDP show very marked disparities at the spatial level. The southeast portion present two thirds of the renewable water in the country, with one fifth of the population contributing one fifth of the national GDP. The northern, central and northwestern portions have only a third of the renewable water in the country, but they represent four fifths of the population and of the spatial contribution to the national GDP. Considering renewable water per capita, the water available in the southeast parts is seven times greater than that available in the rest of this country.

Faced with the above challenges, the present and future of this country pose a panorama full of challenges that require holistic solutions based on the six cornerstones of sustainability: social, economic, environmental, institutional, infrastructural and political. Undoubtedly, the experts of the research group can contribute substantially in conducting frontier and applied research, in innovation and technological development, and in training of human resources.
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Research lines

The Water Science and Technology research group carries out different activities related to the management of water resources and engineering for the sustainable management of water, in the following research lines:

Hydrological processes focused on water resources management in catchments.
Advanced Treatment Processes and Reuse of Wastewater of domestic and industrial origin.
Water Chemistry and Environmental Nanotechnology focused on the development of new and advanced materials.
Environmental Geoprocesses focused on the study of environmental impacts of human activities in the subsoil.


Jürgen Mahlknecht

Core researchers

Abrahan Rafael Mora Polanco
Diana Linda Cárdenas Chávez
Flavio Fernando Contreras Torres
Miguel Ángel López Zavala
Nancy Edith Ornelas Soto
Pabel Antonio Cervantes Avilés


Associated researchers

Aldo Iván Ramírez Orozco
Anaid Cano Quiroz
Blanca Elizabeth Monarrez Cordero
Gesuri Morales Luna
Héctor Alfonso Barrios Piña
Ismael Aguilar Barajas
Mariana Franco Morgado
Netzahualpille Hernández Navarro
Norberto Villegas Negrete
Omar Israel González Peña
Ramón González Bravo


Some publications 2018-2020

- Torres-Martínez, J.P., Mora. A., Knappett, P.S.K., Ornelas-Soto, N., Mahlknecht, J. (2020).
Tracking nitrate and sulfate sources in groundwater of an urbanized valley using a multi-tracer approach combined with a Bayesian isotope mixing model. Water Research.

- Orona-Navar, A., Aguilar-Hernández, I., López-Luke, T., Zarazúa, I., Romero-Arellano, V., Guerrero, J. P., & Ornelas-Soto, N. (2020). Photoconversion efficiency of Titania solar cells co-sensitized with natural pigments from cochineal, papaya peel and microalga Scenedesmus obliquus. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry.

- Lozano-Morales, S. A., Morales, G., López Zavala, M. Á., Arce-Sarria, A., & Machuca-Martínez, F. (2019). Photocatalytic treatment of paracetamol using TiO2 nanotubes: Effect of pH. Processes.

- Aguilar-Barajas, I., Sisto, N. P., Ramirez, A. I., & Magaña-Rueda, V. (2019). Building urban resilience and knowledge co-production in the face of weather hazards: flash floods in the Monterrey Metropolitan Area (Mexico). Environmental Science & Policy.

- Lesser, L. E., Mora, A., Moreau, C., Mahlknecht, J., Hernández-Antonio, A., Ramírez, A. I., & Barrios-Piña, H. (2018). Survey of 218 organic contaminants in groundwater derived from the world's largest untreated wastewater irrigation system: Mezquital Valley, Mexico. Chemosphere.

- Urrutia-Goyes, R., Hernandez, N., Carrillo-Gamboa, O., Nigam, K. D. P., & Ornelas-Soto, N. (2018). Street dust from a heavily-populated and industrialized city: Evaluation of spatial distribution, origins, pollution, ecological risks and human health repercussions. Ecotoxicology and environmental safety.

Relevant projects

• Evaluation of the presence and survival of the SARS-Cov-2 virus in the urban water cycle
Fund: COVID-19 - CONACyT
Objective: Quantitatively evaluate the presence and stability of SARS-Cov-2 virus in urban waters and wastewater.
Participants: Tecnológico de Monterrey.
Duration: 2019-2020

• Water Security in Northern Mexican Cities: A systemic approach to water management under extreme weather conditions
Objective: Develop a systemic approach to increase water security in the cities of Monterrey and Hermosillo, vulnerable to extreme weather events, whose water availability is an issue of national security, given its geostrategic nature and socioeconomic contribution to the country.
Participants: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
Duration: 2019-2022

• Nuevo León Water Plan 2050
Fund: Monterrey Metropolitan Water Fund
Objective: To develop a water plan for the state of Nuevo León with a 2050 perspective, incorporating the dimensions of water in the urban environment, water in the rural environment, water for agriculture, and environmental aspects. Special emphasis was placed on ensuring the future supply of drinking water for the metropolitan area, incorporating innovative approaches to generate resilient solutions and become robust project portfolios in the face of an uncertain future. A robust decision-making algorithm was applied, also known as deep uncertainty analysis.
Participants: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey Metropolitan Water Fund (FAMM), Monterrey Water and Drainage Services, Nuevo León Council, National Water Commission
Duration: 2016 to 2018

• WaterClima - LAC Coastal area management
Fund: EuropeAID
Objective: To contribute to fighting poverty and social inequalities in the LAC region, improving environmental governance and the management of coastal areas in such a way that they contribute to efficient, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
Participants: CATIE (coordination), Tecnológico de Monterrey, CTM, CONIC, WE&B, AMPHOS, CAD, INTEC, Université Quisqueya, Fundación Chile, EFB
Duration: 2014-2018

• Support for the Establishment of a Decision Center for the Effective Management of Water Resources in Latin America and the Caribbean
Objective: To contribute to the establishment of a platform for capacity development and knowledge dissemination for the management and use of water resources in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Participants: Tecnológico de Monterrey
Durations: 2014-2018

• Exploitation and Exploitation of the Development "In situ System for the Aerobic Thermal Treatment of Biodegradable Organic Residues"
Objective: To develop a commercial, legal and technological strategy that facilitates the exploitation and/or assimilation of an in-house system for the aerobic thermal treatment of biodegradable organic waste in homes, restaurants, hospitals, food industries, agro-industries, livestock farms and municipal traces.
Participants: Tecnológico de Monterrey
Duration: 2009-2011