U.S. Water News Online
AUSTIN -- Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs
returned from a trip to Washington where she again pressed for making
Mexico repay the water it owes the United States.
Combs met with State Department and other federal government
officials earlier to offer data and suggestions for collecting the
water, she said.
To help make her case, she presented a report prepared by the
University of Texas Center for Space Research showing satellite
photographs of water reservoirs and irrigated crop land in northern
Mexico. As of Sept. 24, Mexico had more than 3 million acre feet of
water in storage, according to Mexico's own figures, the report
In her meetings in Washington, Combs said she pointed out there
are unprecedented amounts of water stored in Mexico. ``It's
unbelievable that we can't push them on this.''
A 1944 treaty stipulates that the United States and Mexico share
water from the Rio Grande and Colorado River. Texas farmers have
criticized Mexico for not meeting its commitment in recent years to
send the United States an average of 350,000 acre feet annually over
a five-year cycle.
In August, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the United States should
consider stopping the flow of water to Mexico from the Colorado River
if it continues to lag behind in its water-sharing obligations under
But a spokesman for the Mexican embassy in Washington said his
country has met its obligations under the treaty during Mexican
President Vicente Fox's administration by delivering the minimum
annual average required under the treaty.
One of Combs' suggestions to get movement under way on the water
issue is to consider establishing a model agriculture labor program
that would allow certain Mexican workers to hold jobs temporarily in
the United States. It would be similar to the agriculture labor
program between Mexico and Canada.
Mexican ownership of water in international reservoirs along the
Texas-Mexico border will rise beyond 700,000 acre feet this year,
She's proposing that Mexico transfer 500,000 acre feet of water
from the Falcon Reservoir to be used by U.S. farmers in the immediate
future. That amount would go toward its debt of 1.47 million acre
feet to the United States.
Such a move would not jeopardize Mexico's agricultural interests
or endanger the water supply to Mexican cities along the Rio Grande,
``It's right there in Falcon,'' she said. ``We can release it to
Return to the
U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.