Water Shortage Issue Related to the Mexican Water Deficit
- The Issue
- Rio Grande Watermaster Reports
- Letters Pertaining to Mexican Water Deficit
- IBWC's Minute 309 and Letters
- AgriLife Study: Economic Impact Estimate of Irrigation Water Shortages on the Lower Rio Grande Valley Agriculture
- Addressing Mexico's Water Deficit to the United States
The failure of Mexico to consistently deliver water in accordance with the 1944 water treaty between the United States and Mexico significantly harms Texas interests.
The treaty requires delivery from certain tributaries in Mexico to the United States of not less than a minimum annual average of 350,000 acre feet, in cycles of five consecutive years. Mexico’s failure to deliver the amount of water owed results in undue hardship for Texas' water users who rely on that water for irrigation, as well as municipalities that need the irrigation water to convey public drinking water supplies. In fact, a 2013 study by Texas A&M AgriLife concluded that a loss of irrigation water in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas endangers approximately 4,840 jobs per year and reduces output in the valley by an estimated $395 million.
Despite countless meetings between U.S., Texas, and Mexico water officials, Mexico has yet to provide a concrete proposal and further productive and earnest discussions and commitment to honor the Treaty and deliver the minimum annual amount of water. To resolve this issue, Mexico must recognize their obligation to the United States under the 1944 Treaty, set aside water for Treaty compliance, and deliver water on a schedule that benefits all users within the Rio Grande Basin. The United States has never failed to meets its obligation on the Colorado to deliver 1.5 million acre-feet to Mexico under the same Treaty. Texas is simply requesting that Mexico treat its obligation to the Rio Grande in the same manner.
The International Boundary and Water Commission, in conjunction with the U.S. State Department, has the responsibility to enforce the treaty, but has not been successful. The U.S. Department of State has not engaged in the discussions in a manner similar to that required in 2005 to solve the then established debt. Until the federal government engages in a more serious manner, it is expected that Mexico will continue to disregard the Treaty in spite of the fact that the United States has implemented actions to the benefit of Mexico on numerous occasions.
Rio Grande Watermaster Reports
This report is for the week ending 4/8/2017.
- The current cycle began on October 25, 2015. As of the date of this report, Mexico has delivered 311,401 AF.
- The first year of the cycle ended on October 24, 2016. The preliminary delivery amount for the first year is 216,562 which results in a deficit of 133,439 AF.
- Second year deliveries through 4/8/2017 equal 94,839 AF.
- The cumulative pro-rated deficit as of 4/8/2017 is 197,777 AF which is an increase of 2,377 AF from the 195,400 AF reported in the 04/1/2017 report.
- On April 8, 2017, the U.S. combined ownership at Amistad/Falcon stood at 61.00 percent of normal conservation capacity, impounding 2,068,932 acre-feet, down from 64.58 percent (2,190,538 AF) of normal conservation a year ago at this time.
- The Mexican Reservoirs report shows, as a whole, a total of 76.627 percent average capacity. All Mexican Reservoirs are below 100 percent conservation capacity at this time.
- As of 4/8/17: the United States has 1,444,685 AF in Amistad and 624,247 AF in Falcon.
- Mexico has 520,476 AF in Amistad and 142,685 AF in Falcon.
- The Amistad Reservoir is currently at: 092.89 ft -24.10 with a release of 40.0 cms/1,413 cfs
- The Falcon Reservoir is currently at: 269.75 ft -31.45 with a release of 70.0 cms/2,472 cfs
Ownership of Water – Amistad/Falcon
Report dated 4/22/2017.
On April 22, 2017, the U.S. combined ownership at Amistad/Falcon stood at 61.36 percent of normal conservation capacity, impounding 2,081,093 acre-feet, down from 63.63 percent (2,158,110 AF) of normal conservation a year ago at this time. Overall the system is holding 44.41 percent of normal conservation capacity, impounding 2,629,943 acre-feet with Amistad at 56.13 percent of conservation capacity, impounding 1,838,690 acre-feet and Falcon at 29.89 percent of conservation capacity, impounding 791,253 acre-feet. Mexico has 21.69 percent of normal conservation capacity, impounding 548,851 acre-feet at Amistad/Falcon.
- City of Alton
- Cameron County
- Cameron County Irrigation District #2
- East Rio Hondo Water Supply Corporation
- Hidalgo County Irrigation District #2
- City of Hidalgo
- City of Los Fresnos
- Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council
- City of McAllen
- North Alamo Water Supply Corporation
- City of Palm Valley
- City of Pharr
- City of Primera
- Rio Grande Regional Water Authority
- City of San Benito
- City of South Padre Island
- City of Weslaco
Letters Pertaining to Mexican Water Deficit
- September 17, 2014 Letter from Texas Delegation to President Barack Obama
- September 3, 2014 Letter from TWDB Chairman Carlos Rubinstein to IBWC Commissioner Edward Drusina
- August 26, 2014 letter from TWDB and TCEQ Chairs to Rep. Eddie Lucio, III
- August 1, 2014 letter from Rep. Eddie Lucio, III to TWDB and TCEQ Chairs
- July 9, 2014 Letter from IBWC Commissioner Drusina to TWDB Chairman Rubinstein
- June 17, 2014 Letter from TWDB Chairman Rubinstein to IBWC Commissioner Drusina
- September 10, 2013 Letter from TDA Commissioner Staples and TWDB Chairman Rubinstein to U.S. Ambassador to Mexico E. Anthony Wayne
- June 11, 2013 Letter from U.S. State Department to Commissioner Rubinstein
- May 22, 2013 Letter from Commissioner Rubinstein to U.S. State Department
- April 15, 2013 Letter from Texas Citrus Mutual to U.S. State Department
- April 11, 2013 Letter from Congressional Delegation to President Obama
- April 9, 2013 Letter from Governor Perry to President Obama
- April 9, 2013 Letter from Rio Grande Regional Water Authority to Rep. Vela
- April 9, 2013 Letters from Cameron County Irrigation District
- April 9, 2013 Letters from Delta Irrigation District
- April 5, 2013 Letter from IBWC to Congressional Delegation