The presence of a cenote on a piece of land does not imply that whoever owns it has possession of the first one; Everything that lies in the subsoil is property of the nation, explained Manlio Alejandro Torres López, former president of the College of Valuers of Yucatán.
Torres López pointed out that the value of the land is not ruled by the presence of access to this body of water but by its purpose.
The specialist declared that by itself the presence of a cenote within a piece of land, in an urban area or a remote place, does not de facto increase the value in itself, it is the use to which it will be given that gives it a certain value.
Manlio Torres explains that land ownership covers what is on the surface, but what exists underground is the property of the nation; It is no coincidence, for example, that to build a well a permit from the National Water Commission is necessary, since the aquifer resource is property of the nation and for this reason a fee is charged.
“An individual may be the owner of a piece of land, but he is only the owner of what is on the surface, what is in the subsoil does not belong to him, so much so that to drill a well to access the water a permit is required from the CNA and cover a right” he explained.
“Owning a piece of land does not make you the owner of the cenote that is inside it, what gives value to the land is the use that is given to the cenote for all that it implies,” he indicates.
The specialist offers us an example to clarify the situation: “A landowner drills a well to access water, which is the first thing the owners worry about to ensure the vital liquid; “This excavation may lead to the discovery of a cenote and then a decision must be made: the cenote will be a source of water supply or will be used to exploit it for commercial or tourist purposes.”
“To drill a well, a permit from the National Water Commission is required. If this procedure is not done from the outset, the drilling is illegal and that affects the valuation of the land.
When the cenote is destined to become a source of water, that is, it fulfills the functions of a well, the land has a certain value and the exploitation of the resource implies the regulations and regulation of the authority. “When a land has a cenote and it is intended for commercial or tourist use, it must first meet all the requirements established by the authorities for this purpose (CNA, Tourism, Profepa, Semarnat, etc.) and this is what “It gives more value to the land that can be provided with tourist infrastructure, but this does not make the owner of the land the owner of the cenote.”