Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA), Mexico

1 March 2018
| Citation



This work develops a proposal to assign an added value to the water used by man in various productive processes. The cost of energy needed to evaporate a cubic meter under natural conditions is multiplied by the lowest local price per kWh to calculate an ‘intrinsic value’ of water (IVW). The resulting amount constitutes the monetary unit that is applied to calculate an added value on an entirely environmental basis, regardless of the law of supply and demand and the subjectivity prevailing in the market. Then, it is necessary to calculate the volume required to return to the used water the quantity and quality it had before the production process, or the dilution volume necessary for the wastewater to comply with the corresponding ecological standard for a particular pollutant (indicator). This amount is called the ‘restitution volume’ (RV), and the product (IVW x RV) constitutes the proposed environmental added value (WEAV). A table showing the evaluation of RV for a set of production processes is included. Several examples are developed to calculate the price of water in this context, including the human right to water and nature conservation, for which it is necessary to include some local costs of the regular water service, such as the federal and municipal costs of construction, operation, maintenance, and administration (COMA) of infrastructure: Water price = IVW + federal COMA + municipal COMA + WEAV, in which IVW represents a payment for the environmental services of the water within the hydrological cycle, such as the support of animal and plant production in the biosphere, climate regula- tion and shielding against UV rays. A brief discussion on the advantage of this methodology to ensure environmental and human rights to water is included.


cost, ecological added value, price, uses, water evaporation heat.


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