U.S. Water News Online
WESLACO, Texas -- Severe drought in the Lower Rio Grande
Basin has jolted
this region into the realization that better management of existing water
supplies will be needed to put "food on the table."
An extended drought along the Lower Rio Grande made headlines
year when Texas officials refused to share remaining supplies of water
reservoirs with Mexican irrigators across the border. Since then, Texas has
softened its attitude, saying that emergency water aid would be given for
domestic use only. Texans generally believe that Mexico has wasted its water
resources in the region, where some 90 percent of the water supply is used
for agricultural irrigation.
"The cities, the agricultural users, everyone is in this
together," said Rio
Grande watermaster John Hinojosa IV. "What we need to start thinking is what
can we do to ensure that we have an adequate supply to meet our future needs,
and the thing that comes to mind first is water conservation," added
Hinojosa. To address existing shortages and to prevent others in the future,
the Valley Water Policy & Management Council has developed a water use
management program that stresses conservation for both agricultural and
municipal water users.
Texas has used all but 43 percent of its reserves in Falcon Lake
Reservoir, the two international reservoirs on the Rio Grande that supply
water to users on both sides of the border. Mexico's reserves in the two
reservoirs stand at a meager 9 percent.
Return to the U.S. Water News' past archives page
Return to the U.S. Water News Homepage