U.S. Water News Online
CALEXICO, Calif. -- While principal rivers along the
border generally flow from north to south, one notable -- and unpotable
-- exception is the New River in southern California. For years, the river
has carried human and industrial wastes from the city of Mexicali, in the
Mexican state of Baja California, into California's Imperial Valley. After five
presidential administrations have promised to do something to
clean up theNew River, some positive news is developing in the new era of
the NorthAmerican Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Congress has appropriated $5 million for a "quick fix"
of the Mexicali sewer system. The city's sewer is unable to handle a population
estimated anywhere from 650,000 to a million or more, and when the system is
overtaxed, the river runs black. Besides this initial funding, hopes are running
high that New River projects will be included in some $47.5 million allocated
to the International Water and Boundary Commission for anti-pollution
"People are frustrated," said an official of Imperial
County. "I have a group of people who would love to put a dam up
at the border, but that wouldn't solve the problem."
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