Even with the drought that afflicts the region, Mexico will continue with the delivery of water to the US in conformity with the International Treaty on Water of 1944, the Mexican section of the IBWC (CILA in Spanish). This was explained after the governor of Chihuahua, César Duarte Jáquez, recently asserted that “no way” was water going to be delivered to the US authorities. “I want to say with all gentlemanliness and diplomacy that there is no water,” he affirmed a few days ago in comments to the press. Consulted about this, Jesús Luévano, Mexican Secretary of the IBWC, indicated that the delivery from this country [Mexico] is generated from six streams, one of which is the Rio Conchos, which is in the state [of Chihuahua], but if it has no water it will be supplied from other tributaries. That is to say, from the rivers San Diego, San Rodrigo, the Escondido and the Salado, along with the Las Vacas arroyo [stream] located between Coahuila and Tamaulipas. The functionary said that from the courses of these tributaries water flows all year to the river, from which is taken one-third for the US and two-thirds for Mexico. “It is impossible that nothing comes from the Rio Conchos, there is always water coming from the Conchos to the Bravo [Rio Grande],” he noted. The Chihuahuan governor claimed the water of the state, after it turned out that up to now the US would only guarantee the allocation promised to Mexico annually under another treaty, that of 1906, used to irrigate the fields in the Valley of Juárez. Under this 112-year-old treaty, the neighboring country [i.e, the US] should provide an annual quota of 74 million cubic meters of water, coming from the Elephant Butte and Caballo dams located in New Mexico. But this year, due to the drought conditions up to this moment, the allocation set aside for this year, which commenced 5 April, only equaled 20 percent of the annual quota that the US is committed to provide. The bi-national body announced that it would review the conditions in the dams every month in order to determine the final delivery, which according to its estimates might reach 25 million cubic meters, “but this would depend on the evolution of the conditions in the river basin.” Given this, Duarte said: “We need the cubic meters that the North Americans should deliver to us here and must expound our drought condition in a stronger manner.” In the Rio Grande there is no resource whatsoever, and they [the US] keep in suspense the Valley of Juárez, the agricultural zone of the City of Juárez, he added in his remarks to the press. Luévano indicated that there have been conversations with Duarte Jáquez and they have explained to him how the 1944 treaty works. He mentioned that up to now the Rio Conchos has lacked important portions of the quota delivered to the neighboring country (the US), excluding the floods of 2008. The official explained that the obligation of Mexico is to provide 431.7 million cubic meters every year, but accounted for in five-year cycles, which means that this year the delivery could be zero and the next year double, that is 863 cubic meters, and this would be fine.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Sharing Rio Grande Water: A Mexican Perspective
Map from PROJECT FORMODERNIZATION AND TECHNICAL IMPROVEMENTS TO THE CONCHOS RIVER IRRIGATIONDISTRICTS
In Learn Your Water Footprint I alluded to the growing anger of Texas farmers and the Agriculture Commissioner over the IBWC's release of more water to Mexico while holding up the release of Rio Grande water to Texas.
Carter-Tripp summarizes the article as "[j]ust a story about the Governor of Chihuahua's anger when he found that the 1944 treaty with the U.S. on water sharing requires Mexico to send water northward regardless of drought. A mirror image of the folks in Texas complaining about sending water to Mexico."
El Diario also has a translation application at the top of the story. (Link above)