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US-Mexico Water Issues. CE 397 Transboundary Water Resources October 23, 2003. Source: http:// When the well's dry, we know the worth of water. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). Geographic Description. Shared Water Resources.

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us mexico water issues

US-Mexico Water Issues

CE 397 Transboundary Water Resources

October 23, 2003


important treaties and conventions
Important Treaties and Conventions
  • 1848 T: Established the United States-Mexico international boundary.
  • 1906 C: Distributed the waters of the Rio Grande in the reach from El Paso-Juarez and Fort Quitan, Texas.
  • 1944 T: Distributed the waters of the Colorado River, Tijuana River, and the Rio Grande from Fort Quitman, Texas to the Gulf of Mexico.

Main Basins



drought in the conchos river basin
Drought in the Conchos River Basin
  • A long drought that spans the two recent five-year cycles.
  • Increasing population and economic activity.
  • Lack of resources and/or structural changes in the basin’s water management.
main problems in the regions of the us mexico border
Main Problems in the regions of the US-Mexico Border
  • The basin can be divided in the regions:
    • Texas-Mexico
    • Rural New Mexico
    • Arizona-Sonora
    • The West Coast
  • Basically, the problems are:
    • High population and high population increase.
    • High contamination due to agriculture practices and maquiladora industry operation.
    • Low natural disponibility of water.
    • Deficient wastewater treatment
border population
Border Population


borderlines, August 1999, Volume 7, Number 7



questions for and topics discussion
Questions for and Topics Discussion ...
  • Do you think that the provisions for water allocations should be changed? If this were the case, what kind of changes would be appropriate?
  • The resources of US and Mexico for solving problems at the border are disproportionate. Do you believe that this could hinder the improvement of the border conditions? What do you suggest to handle this situation?
  • Should US act unilaterally to try to solve the whole problem? What kind of consequences could be derived from this action?
questions for and topics discussion1
... Questions for and Topics Discussion
  • Mexico want to solve the common problems at the border but frequently faces internal economic, social, political and legal constrains. Can you imagine a multilateral entity or mechanism to help the country?
  • From the point of view of many Mexicans, the United States have historically shown on many issues a rather arrogant or dismissing attitude with its southern neighbor. Have you ever thought on that? If it were the case, what signals might the United States send to Mexico to change that perception? How Mexico might contribute?