His Lips Drink Water But His Heart Drinks Wine: Groundwater Availability, Access, and Governance in the Guadalupe Valley, Mexico


This case explores the complex world of groundwater management in the Guadalupe Valley of Baja California - also known as the Napa Valley of Mexico - where geology, climate, history, politics, and economics culminate to form a convoluted social-ecological system that is expressed and experienced uniquely by different stakeholders. The case is used to demonstrate the importance of understanding the biophysical and social components of the system, and the interactions between and within them, to generate and resolve water-related problems in the region. It introduces students to a systematic approach for dismantling the complexity in Guadalupe Valley that they can then apply to any other natural resource management problem. Important tools and concepts such as conceptual modeling, stakeholder analysis, and Ostrom’s (2009) Social Ecological Systems (SES) framework for common pool resource management are introduced. The case study combines the interrupted case method with the jigsaw approach and problem based learning. It is designed to be implemented in an interactive classroom setting consisting of minimal lecturing time and a series of group work activities.

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Tuyeni Mwampamba
Chantelise Pells
Matt Robbins