U.S. Water News Online
AUSTIN -- Heavy rainfall in northern Mexico has resulted in
fresh water flows into reservoirs that could allow Mexico to make
substantial payments on its water debt to the United States,
according to a new Texas report.
Figures from the International Boundary and Water Commission show
that Mexican water storage as of Oct. 22 totaled 4.3 million acre
feet, the largest storage volume the country has held in the Rio
Grande Basin in more than a decade.
``More than one million acre feet of inflows reached Mexican
storage during the first three weeks of October following the
conclusion of the 2003 irrigation season and water-year,'' the report
The Center for Space Research at the University of Texas at Austin
prepared the report for state Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs.
Her office made a copy of the report available.
Combs has pressed repeatedly for Mexico to pay the water it owes
the United States under a 1944 water-sharing treaty. She says the
water is needed to help South Texas farmers. The treaty stipulates
that the United States and Mexico share water from the Rio Grande and
Mexico has said it has met its obligations under the treaty during
President Vicente Fox's administration by delivering the minimum
annual average required under the treaty.
As of mid-October, Mexico owed the United States 1.35 million acre
feet of water, according to the report.
Heavy October rainfall in Mexico was generated by the
disintegration of hurricanes Olaf and Nora, followed by the formation
of a persistent low-pressure system over northeastern Mexico and
South Texas. That system triggered days of widespread flooding in the
Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, the
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