EDITOR'S NOTE: In Part II of a two part series, the non-compliance of a 1944 water treaty by Mexico is examined in light of a developing water problem in the arid, desert region of Chihuahua state just south of the New Mexico-Chihuahua line. While Mennonite farmers expand commercial farming operations by digging excessively deep wells to reach a subterranean aquifer, Mexico may be delaying water deliveries due South Texas as a result. With the threat of violence and extreme heavy political pressure triggered by what appears to be the first water wars spawned by a changing climate, Mexico is struggling to deal with water pressures from both sides of the international border. Connect to PART I of the story here, and read PART II below.

 

According to a report by the Center for International Policy in Washington D.C., while the deep water wells being dug by Mennonite farmers in Northern Mexico have largely proven successful, they have also caused an unfortunate side effect.

The wells are being blamed for lowering aquifer levels deep beneath the desert of Chihuahua, causing the more shallow wells of the Mexicanos (a term used by the Mennonites to describe local Mexican farmers and ranchers) to drop in production or completely dry up in some cases.

As a result, many of the locals have been forced to sell their rangelands to Mennonites or to enterprising individuals from Sinaloa state who have also expressed an interest over the last two years in drilling deep wells to establish their own successful commercial farming operations in the region.

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In recent years while many of the age-old traditional values of the Mennonites have been preserved, accelerated growth and expansion has apparently forced them to forgo traditional methods of farming and embrace modern technology as a means to survive.

Leaving behind wooden plows and oxcarts, they purchased the latest models of farm machinery and technology, including laser-guided precision farming equipment and rotary irrigation systems that continually provide water to miles and miles of row crops including cotton, soybeans, corn, alfalfa, potatoes, chili peppers and more.