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Historical Analysis of the Rio Grande/Bravo CE 397 Transboundary Water Resources Samuel Sandoval-Solis
Pre-Hispanic …-1492 Pre-Hispanic 1500 1800 1900 2000 1492 Christopher Columbus 1519-1521 Hernan Cortez 1535 Viceroyalty of New Spain Valle de Española, Chamita. (First Capitol city of NM, 1598) Valle de Paso del Norte, diversion from a dam made of branches, stones and soil.
Colonial Colonial Pre-Hispanic 1500 1800 1900 2000 Valle Española, Chama. Valle del Bravo, Santa Fe (Capitol NM1605), 12K ha & 20K people(1680). Paso del Norte. Acequia Madre (Humboldt). Albuquerque 1706. Aviquiu (1739)
Colonial Colonial Pre-Hispanic 1500 1800 1900 2000 Presidio del Rio Grande (Presidio - Ojinaga). Presidio del Norte (El Paso-Cd. Juarez) Laredo (Nuevo Laredo) Refugio (Matamoros-Brownsville).
Colonial Mx Ind. Colonial 1521-1810; Independence 1810-1821 Pre-Hispanic 1500 1800 1900 2000 Common use priority over particular use (1803-1807). The rivers were considered as “public property of common use”; with the users obligation to respect this attribute and not harming from the upstream riparian against downstream riparian. Absolute prohibition to obstruct and impede the navigation channel by any means. Water was available for Merced and Composition and the viceroy could grant to individuals. Mexican Independence (1810-1821) Ratification of the Viceroyalty Laws
Colonial Mx Ind. 1835-1836 Independence of Texas Pre-Hispanic TX Ind. 1500 1800 1900 2000 TheViceroyalty of New Spain invite foreignpeople, mostlyfrom US, tocolonize Texas. Compliments about the pay of fees and taxes. Mexico’s President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna started a campaign to extinguish the riot. Santa Anna was defeated in San Jacinto battle, when he sign Texas Independence (Treaty of Velasco). Mexican representatives cameras unknown Santa Anna as president of Mexico.
Colonial Mx Ind. 1846-1847 US InvasiontoMexico Pre-Hispanic TX Ind. US Inv. 1500 1800 1900 2000 “The American Invasion was a question of life and death for Mexico, not only because it involved the seizure of its territory, but also because Mexicans were reduced to the humiliating state of being strangers in their own land” Jose Mariano Salas American Expansionistsentiment. President James K. Polk ManifestDestiny (JahnO’Sullivan):”destinytooverspreadthewhole North American continentwithanimmensedemocraticpopulation” “Misunderstood” about the border of Texas. Santa Anna’s betrayal.
Treaty 1848 Colonial Mx Ind. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) Pre-Hispanic TX Ind. US Inv. 1500 1800 1900 2000 Nuevo Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah and Nevada 1.- Peace. 2.- Set the borders: Rio Grande (Rio Bravo del Norte), Gila, Colorado 3.- Lay down the right of Navigation. 4.- 15 million dollars, 200K sq. mi. Mexico “ceded” 55% of Territory
Treaty 1848 Colonial Mx Ind. 1853 The Mesilla Treaty. The Gadsden Purchase Pre-Hispanic 1853 TX Ind. US Inv. 1500 1800 1900 2000 “The most direct and practicable route for the Southern transcontinental railroad would be south of the United States boundary” 29K sq. Mi. $10,000,000. 31 ° 47’ 100 mi 20 mi. 111 ° 31 ° 20’ Emory-Salazar Line Erased Line Blanco-Barlow Line (1896).
Contrastbetweentwoallocationsystems The US System The Mexican System East. Riparian rights West. Priority use First in time, first in right. Uncontroled appropiation (CA, NM) Fast expedition and immediately aplication Complicated with Acts (River and Harbor Act) WR for powerful and sovereign states • Formal System (Burocracy) • Slow in expedition • Centralized (Federal property of the water) • Riparian rights Vs
Treaty 1848 Colonial Mx Ind. 1877-1884 Thereis no water at El Paso Pre-Hispanic No Water 1880 1853 TX Ind. US Inv. 1500 1800 1900 2000 In 1877, US president Hayes sign a law to confer to the states the control and regulation of the non-navigable rivers. $0.25/acre unpopulated zones with the promise to built the irrigation infrastructure In 1878, Coronel Hatch wrote a note highlighting the problems of allocation of water in drought periods in the Rio Grande Valley. On April 16th 1880, Texan irrigation users complained about the allocation of water from the dams “Acequia Madre”. American farmers must fight for the 50% stipulated in the treaty. • On June 15th 1980, first official international complain about the Acequia Madre. • The complain was responded 4 years later as follows (June 1884): 1.- Both sides suffered the ravages of the drought period 2.- Mexican supplied water to this area in scarcity periods 3.- The dam is built in Mexican Territory and it is 300 year old 4.- The scarcity in the Rio Bravo river is the waste of water in Colorado and New Mexico states
Treaty 1848 Colonial Mx Ind. IBWC-CILA 1884-1888 Pre-Hispanic 1853 TX Ind. US Inv. 1880 1888 1900 1500 1800 Change in the course, Creation of “Banks” 1884.- Convention for the replacement of monuments that mark the boundary line between El Paso to the Ocean Pacific. This convention “will have ended” the discrepancies. 1887.- Prolific profits in the Upper Rio Bravo/Grande basin. On the opposite, there was no water at El Paso/Paso del Norte. 1888.- Establishment two International Boundary Commissions, one who decides about the changes of the water course (Pluvial) and one for the boundary delineation in land (5 year duration). Indefinite duration after 1900. Int. Commission of Boundaries : Blanco-Borlow (1981). Pluvial matters: Osorno-Mills(1896) $$$ No Water
1848 1853 Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Mills Dam IBWC-CILA Mills Vs Powel’s Solution Love 1850 Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1900 1500 1800 1888.- Mills recognize the problems in Paso del Norte Region: a) Scarcity of water due to CO and NM diversions, b) Water rights of Mexico (seniority and navigability), c) Must stop CO and NM WR, d) Ravages to Mexico, e) Compensation, f) International Dam “Mills Dam” operated jointly. 1888.- USGS Director Powel recommend: a) In the Rio Grande Valley (NM), most of the water is lost in the sand. b) The irrigation in Colorado (1.5M acres) is preferred over NM (200-300K acres) c) To protect the senior irrigation rights at El Paso/Paso del Norte, it will be necessary to remove all the existent infrastructure and water allocations. D) The irrigation at Colorado is destroying the already established ID’s in the border. (Irrigation Survey). 1888.- Lanham/Reagan survey Representative/Senate of Texas. $$$ 1.5M Acres 300K Acres No Water
1848 1853 Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Mills Dam IBWC-CILA Mill’sDam (1888-1889) Love 1850 Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1900 1500 1800 1888.- Engineers Mills & Garfiaspropose the construction of a dam at El Paso/Cd. Juarez (1/3 US, 1/3 Mex, 1/3 to the river) 1889.- Jornada del Muerto and Taos Valley & Co. WR compromised the water for the dam. Public Auditions Mills encouraged the construction of the dam in the congress. He was positive about the support of the Mexican government. Commitment with the Treaty and the oldest WR. The US must compensate for the damages (50K people, 50K acres, $25 Million) Powell argued the preference for the Colorado ID priority, expansion of the ID in NM. Ratified the feasibility of Mill’s Dams. Although, after all the expansion plans, there wont be any water left. Lanham recognize the affectations to the Mexican users, encourage the project of an international dam as an initial compensation.
1848 1853 Con. Resol Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Mills Dam IBWC-CILA 1890 Concurrent resolution at the US Congress, Lanham-Reagan Iniciative Love 1850 Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1890 1900 1500 1800 Considers the Río Bravo River as the natural international border Considers the channels and dikes constructed in NM and CO the responsible for the scarcity at Paso del Norte Valley Recognize the Mexican Water Rights Recognize the controversy of the allocation of international waters And considers the conditions generated, a threatening for the peace and harmony Considers the flood of the rivers the responsible for the confusion in the border line Avoid to decide on the construction of the International dam (Mill’s Dam) Invites Mexico to dialogue and built a Treaty
1848 1853 Con. Resol Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Mills Dam IBWC-CILA 1990 Gamboa Vs Vallarta examination Love 1850 Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1890 1900 1500 1800 flow of a river if this harms the navigation Conclusions: a) The water must be divided in halves between both countries; b) The US breaks all the treaties because of the excessive use of the international waters; c) Powell ‘s project not only accept the US appropriation system but also, simplifies the problem to maximize the US area irrigated, d) Mexico has the right not only to stop the US diversion, but also to closed the existing ones, e) Mexico has the right to claim for a compensation Gamboa: a) Due to the navigation statement in the Treaty of1848, is not possible to the US to reduce the stream flow. b) Mexico has the right to request the destruction of the facilities that harms his right and a compensation c) Just by agreement of both countries Mill’s dam can be constructed Vallarta: a)The border rives are common and belong the 50% of the use and supply for each of the riparian states; b) The sovereignty of one state over a portion of the international river do not authorize the right to use the water of the other state; c)It is illegal divert the
1848 1853 Con. Resol Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Eleph Butte Mills Dam IBWC-CILA 1890-1895 Love 1850 Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1890 1500 1800 1894 1900 After the US government request to talk about the distribution of water, there was no answer from Mexico (1890-1892). When the answer came, there was no reply (1893). In 1894, Mexico sent a formal request to the State department asking about the current resolution of the Cameras and the willingness to talk about it. In 1894, the Department of the Interior approved the construction of the Elephant Butte dam in NM. In 1995, Romero has a meeting with Olney (Department of State) and Dutton (USGS). Dutton explains the position of the priority allocation policy and the “thirsty” reaches of the Rio Grande in NM. Romero explains the navigability of the Bravo (Love, 1850), the Mexican rights over the water and the seniority of the Mexican rights 300 years old. In 1995 Texas enters in the arena. If there is a compensation to the Mexican farmers, it must be a compensation for the Texan farmers too.
1848 1853 Con. Resol Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Eleph Butte Mills Dam IBWC-CILA 1895-1896 Love 1850 Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1890 1500 1800 1894 1900 In 1895 Olney ask Harmon (US General-Attorney) to review Romero’s Note. Harmon or Absolute Sovereignty Doctrine “The fundamental principle of international law is the absolute sovereignty of every nation as against all others, within its own territory... all exceptions, therefore, to the full and complete power of a nation within its own territories must be traced up to the consent of the nation itself. They can flow from no other source”. Later, Olney consider Mill’s dam as a possible solution as a possible solution and he emphasized the necessity to prove the real and genuine obligation. In 1896, Romero and Olney started the mechanisms to solve the problem. They resolve to initialize an International Boundary Commission (Pluvial affairs) Mills-Osorno
1848 1853 Con. Resol Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Eleph Butte Mills Dam IBWC-CILA IBWC-CILA 1896.-IBC (Pluvial orArcifiniumaffairs) Love 1850 Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1890 1500 1800 1894 1900 In 1896, Rio Grande Dam & Irrigation Co, the owner of the Elephant Butte project, send a communication to the Interior Department offering the supply of the US obligations if a treaty will be signed with Mex. 1896.- Establishment of the International Boundary Commission (Pluvial or Arcifinium problems). Osorno-Mills. 1896.-Olney told Romero, that if the Study of Osorno-Mills about was done before Cleveland’s administration ends, It could be huge possibilities to set a Convention.
1848 1853 1896 Con. Resol Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Eleph Butte Mills Dam IBWC-CILA IBWC-CILA 1896 Mills-Osorno recommendations Love 1850 Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1890 1500 1800 1894 1900 1. Sign a treaty. 2. Construction of Mill’s Dam. $2.3 Mill by US $0 Mex (Allowance). 50%US/50%Mex 3. Avoid Dam in NM (Elephant Butte) There is no available flow to supply Elephant butte and Mill’s Dam together. CO: 1880 303K acres 1896 504K acres 1900 1.5 M acres Other opportunity missed 1880 -1896 Significant Increase in Irr. $25.8 Million (Romero) Decrease in 300 cfs (85.2 cms)
1848 1853 1896 Con. Resol Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Eleph Butte Mills Dam IBWC-CILA IBWC-CILA Love 1850 Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1890 1500 1800 1894 1900 1897. Olney stop the negotiations because Rio Grande Dam & Irrigation Co. (Elephant Butte) threatening to demand the US Gov. 1897.- The secretary of the Interior tried to declared the expiration of the WR to the Rio Grande Dam & Irr. Co. The minister of war tried to declare the Rio Grande/Bravo as a navigable river, and it will be jurisdiction of the Department of War (River and Harbor Act). Harmon accepted the navigability of the Rio Grande, although he didn’t want to contradict his previous verdict (He wrote it, but didn’t sign it). 1897.- Change of Administration. The new General Attorney McKenna demand Rio Grande Dam & Co. The judge ruling in favor of the company arguing in this reach the Rio Grande is not navigable. April 25th, 1898. US declared the war to Spain. The Rio Grande problem is forgotten. December 30th, 1898, Matias Romero Died.
1848 1853 1896 Con. Resol Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Eleph Butte Con. Resol Mills Dam IBWC-CILA IBWC-CILA 1897-1902 Thenegotiations fell in thetribunals Reclam. Act Love 1850 Eleph Butte Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1890 1500 1800 1894 1900 1902 1899.- The Supreme Court of the United States revoked the verdict for Rio Grande Dam & Co. 1900.- Mill’s Group come back to the Arena and promoted the Stephens-Culberson initiative (Senate and representative from Texas). 1900.- After the murder of McKinley, the both cameras approved the joint iniciatiave of Stephenns-Culbert. 1901.- Rio Grande Dam & Irr. Co. express his apposition against Stephens-Culberson initiative. 1902.- For the Second time, the Supreme Court revoked the WR permit to Rio Grande Dam & Irr. Co. 1902.- Appears the Reclamation Act, Reclamation Service (Irrigation survey)
1848 1853 1896 Cong. Resol Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Eleph Butte Cong. Resol Mills Dam IBWC-CILA IBWC-CILA 1903-1905 Reclam. Act Love 1850 Eleph Butte Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1890 1500 1800 1894 1900 1902 1903. 10th anniversary of the IBC. Mills made a report of the goals reached . 1904. The Reclamation Act, Reclamation Service (RS) took control of the situation. “…lets solve the problem, … moving aside the International law”. Probably, President Diaz and Ambassador Clayton arrange the terms of the International convention. a) Construction of the Elephant Butte reservoir, b) Planning and Management of the project by the RS c) 60,000 acre-foot (74 MCM), which means water for 25,000 acres (10 100 ha). In 1904, The Fifth National Irrigation Congress was organized by the RS. Hall presented the project of the Elephant Butte dam showing its benefits compared with Mills Dam. Mexican Engineers approved the project and the inherence in the RS in the management of the project. 1905.- Clark Amendment divides the water between NM and TXthrough the Reclamation Act., not considering Mexican water rights.
1848 1853 1896 1906 Cong. Resol Colonial Mx Ind. TX Ind. 1838 Eleph Butte Cong. Resol Mills Dam IBWC-CILA IBWC-CILA 1906 Reclam. Act Love 1850 Eleph Butte Pre-Hispanic US Inv. 1880 1888 1890 1500 1800 1894 1900 Convention 1902 1905.- Theodore Roosevelt publishes an agreement to determine the questions relatives to the Mexican reclamations, the navigability of the river and if the diversion of water in the US violates the international laws. The study was done in 1 day. An international Note was sent to Mexico referring “ …There is no legal responsibility from the US to Mexico in the water of the Bravo. Although, the US government is willing to engaged a water treaty…as a courtesy” “… The construction of a dam in Engle (Elephant Butte) will violent all satisfactory solution ”
Was the convention Unilateral or Multilateral? • How important are the administrations, functionaries and the timing in a negotiation? • How Texas influence the course of the negotiations? • Are Harmon and Vallarta’s Doctrines Theoretical or Practical? To be continued …