Is Anyone Searching for a Solution?: Transboundary Groundwater Resources Shared by the United States...
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Is Anyone Searching for a Solution?: Transboundary Groundwater Resources Shared by the United States and Mexico. Christina N. Tippit. Why is this topic important?.

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Christina n tippit

Is Anyone Searching for a Solution?: Transboundary Groundwater Resources Shared by the United States and Mexico

Christina N. Tippit

Why is this topic important

Why is this topic important?

  • U.S.-Mexico border is a generally arid region and many living there rely on groundwater due to low annual precipitation and lack of ample surface water resources

  • Laws regulating groundwater management on an international border are almost non-existent

  • No consensus on how many aquifers exist

  • Conflicting laws regarding groundwater in the U.S. and Mexico

Important agreements

Important Agreements

  • 1944 Water Treaty

  • International Boundary and Water Commission’s (IBWC) Minute 242

  • United States-Mexico Transboundary Aquifer Act

  • IBWC’s Minute 289

  • La Paz Agreement



  • Declining water tables

  • Little to no information on water quality

  • No uniformity in groundwater law (even among American border states)

    • Federal v. State Issues

  • No consensus on the number of transboundary groundwater resources

  • Gaps in data



  • Development of an over-arching agency to oversee water quality and quantity issues among U.S. states

  • Equitable and reasonable use

  • Notification and consultation

  • Standardize data collection and measurements

  • Annual bi-national information exchange

  • Bi-national effort to catalog all transboundary groundwater resources

Further readings

Further Readings

  • Mumme, Stephen P., Advancing Binational Cooperation In Transboundary Aquifer Management on the U.S.-Mexico Border. 16 Colo. J. Int’l Envtl. L. & Pol’y 77, 79 (2005)

  • Hardberger, A., What Lies Beneath: Determining the Necessity of International Groundwater Policy Along the United States-Mexico Border and a Roadmap to an Agreement, 35 Tex. Tech L.Rev. 1212 (2004)

  • Gavrell RC, The elephant under the border: an argument for a new, comprehensive treaty for the transboundary waters and aquifers of the United States and Mexico. 16 Colo. J. Int’l Envtl. L. & Pol’y 189 (2005)

  • Transboundary Groundwaters: The Bellagio Draft Treaty. 29 Nat. Resources J. 676 (1989)

  • Eckstein, G. & Hardberger, A., State Practice in the Management and Allocation of Transboundary Groundwater Resources in North America. 18 Yearbook of Int'l Envt'l L. 2007 96 (2008)

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