What is in this article?:
- Legislators say Senate/House amendment would force water treaty compliance
- Required terms of the amendment
- Proposed water act amendment turns heat up on Mexico.
- Texas water crisis is the joint result of drought conditions and Mexico's failure to deliver water according to the treaty.
- Valley officials claim this is not the first time Mexico has been delinquent on water releases.
Required terms of the amendment
According to the terms of the amendment, the U.S Secretary of State would be required to file quarterly reports outlining Mexico's efforts to comply with the water treaty. The treaty provides water-sharing responsibilities of both the U.S. and Mexican governments and the use of common water resources, including the Rio Grande River and its tributaries.
If the secretary of state does not comply with the quarterly report requirement, the amendment would prohibit the department from extending benefits to Mexico.
“On the Texas-Mexico border, they [Mexico] are supposed to deliver 350,000 acre-feet of water per year, and they are not complying with that, and they have historically failed to comply with their part of the treaty,” Vela said last week. He said the legislation filed this week is an effort to force U.S. officials to take "serious steps" to force Mexican officials to make regular water deliveries on time.
Valley officials claim this is not the first time Mexico has been delinquent on water releases. Valley ag officials say in the 1990s delayed deliveries of water cost the Valley farming and ranching industry to suffer multimillion dollar losses.
In a meeting early this year, International Boundary Water Commission officials told concerned Valley farmers and municipal and irrigation representatives that their hands were tied and they could not force Mexico to make water deliveries.
Cornyn says the combination of failure of Mexico to deliver water guaranteed by the treaty and the lack of support by U.S. officials has been the driving reasons the amendment was drafted and filed for Congressional consideration.
“Since last November, the Department of State and IBWC have known that Mexico’s failure to meet its obligations under the treaty would negatively impact South Texas communities. The State Department and IBWC have been ineffective in securing much needed water deliveries from Mexico. The ‘WATER for Texas Act’ will help countless American farmers, ranchers, and residents in areas along our southern border get the resources they need to carry on with life,” Vela said.
“Texas farmers, ranchers and landowners need water – and they aren’t getting enough. I support efforts to ensure Texas has access to water and to engage the State Department on this important issue,” Rep. Conaway added.