Abiquim, Brazil's chemical industry association, has said the measures proposed by the government on April 9 will improve the competitiveness of the industry.
Fátima Giovanna Ferreira, director of economics and statistics at Abiquim, said the industry has been operating at below capacity because of the recent loss of competitiveness.
The government's proposal to eliminate two federal taxes on feedstock used by the chemical industry will increase capacity use in the sector and reduce imports, she said.
In 2012, Brazil ran up a US$28bn trade deficit in chemical products.
Abiquim also welcomed moves to make it easier for chemical companies to use natural gas as a feedstock. The association said this would enable Brazilian companies to make the most of pre-salt offshore oil and gas discoveries as well as potential unconventional gas finds.
The government will also facilitate the use of renewable raw materials such as ethanol, by launching a special regulatory framework to support innovation in the chemical industry.
The Chihuahua state regional office of the Mexican national water commission, Conagua, has stepped up monitoring visits following the discovery of numerous illegal wells and dams along the Carmen river, a Conagua spokesperson told BNamericas.
During the first three months of the year "we have undertaken 18 actions to stop illegal water extraction," said the spokesperson.
Acting on information from members of Barzón, a group of agricultural activists, Conagua discovered that local Mennonite farmers had installed "illegal extraction infrastructure all along the river," said the spokesperson.
Conagua found 13 illegal wells and two small dams along the river, which have since been filled in. Eight of the wells were in use and contained 1.59Mm3.
The farmers held false water-extraction permits and Conagua is now investigating where they came from.
Since 2000, the Mennonite farmers in the state have expanded their farmland 225,000ha by drilling wells in areas without water extraction prohibitions. Barzón has expressed concern at the levels of water extraction due to prolonged drought in the state, according to local paper La Jornada.
Illegal extraction is a nationwide problem, according to a recent study by researchers at the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico. There are 1400 registered wells in the country, but it is estimated that there are a similar amount of illegal wells in operation.
The government is leading a crackdown on illegal extraction and recently prohibited the drilling of water wells without prior consent from Conagua.
The change will mean that Conagua can control up to 10Bm3 of groundwater reserves each year, which in turn will result in less over-use of water reserves.
Illegal well found on Carmen river.