U.S. commissioner demands Mexico deliver Rio Grande water to the United States

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Rio Grande (source: KVEO photo)

RIO GRANDE, Texas — A U.S. Commissioner is demanding Mexico comply with their requirements levied in the 1944 Water Treaty that orders Mexico to deliver water from the Rio Grande to the United States.

U.S. Commissioner Jayne Harkins of the International Boundary and Water Commission requested the government of Mexico to take immediate action on this matter in order to meet their side of the treaty.

The 1944 Water Treaty, named “Utilization of Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande,” requires Mexico to deliver Rio Grande water to the United States and for the U.S. to deliver Colorado River water to Mexico.

Under this agreement, Mexico must deliver 1.75 million acre-feet of water from the Rio Grande to the United States during a five-year cycle.

This five-year period ends in October 2020 and Mexico is short of the agreement by 432,360 acre-feet, well above the 350,000 acre-feet average that the 1944 Water Treaty requires.

Mexico began the current cycle with a water deficit after failing to deliver the required water in the cycle that ended in 2015.

The Water Treaty does not allow for a second consecutive deficient cycle. As such, Mexico must provide the required amount by October 24, 2020.

“Farmers and cities in South Texas rely on this water to get them through the summer. Some irrigation districts will run out of water this year and municipal water districts are having to expend large sums of money to purchase additional water. To comply with the treaty, Mexico must increase its water deliveries,”  said Commissioner Harkins.

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