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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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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)