>> Questions or Comments: ac@tceq.texas.gov
You are here:

Water Shortage Issue Related to the Mexican Water Deficit

Documents and information pertaining to the TCEQ's position on Rio Grande water distribution between the United States and Mexico.

Issue

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.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

Rio Grande Watermaster Reports

Reservoir Levels

This report is for the week ending 8/4/2018.

  • The current cycle began on October 25, 2015. As of the date of this report, Mexico has delivered 908,028 AF.
  • The first year of the cycle ended on October 24, 2016. The preliminary delivery amount for the 1st year was 219,101 AF which resulted in a deficit of 130,899 AF.
  • The second year of the cycle ended on October 24, 2017. The preliminary delivery amount was 564,979 AF.
  • Third year deliveries through 8/4/2018 equal 123,948 AF.
  • As of 8/4/2018, Mexico has a pro-rated deficit of 64,301 AF under the minimum expected delivery.
  • On August 4, 2018, the U.S. combined ownership at Amistad/Falcon stood at 46.70 percent of normal conservation capacity, impounding 1,584,127 acre-feet, down from 51.77 percent (1,755,998 AF) of normal conservation a year ago.
  • The Mexican Reservoirs report shows a total of 58.736 percent average capacity. All Mexican Reservoirs are under 100 percent capacity.
  • As of 8/4/18 the United States has 1,145,533 AF in Amistad and 438,594 AF in Falcon.
  • Mexico has 389,141 AF in Amistad and 88,367 AF in Falcon.
  • The Amistad Reservoir is currently at: 1082.36 ft -34.64 with a release of 80.0 cms/2,825 cfs
  • Falcon Reservoir is currently at: 262.66 ft -38.53 with a release of 40.0 cms/1,413 cfs

Back to the top of the page Back to top

Ownership of Water – Amistad/Falcon

Report dated 8/11/2018.

On August 11, 2018, the U.S. combined ownership at Amistad/Falcon stood at 45.82 percent of normal conservation capacity, impounding 1,554,131 acre-feet, down from 51.27 percent (1,738,973 AF) of normal conservation a year ago. Overall the system is holding 34.18 percent of normal conservation capacity, impounding 2,024,343 acre-feet with Amistad at 45.81 percent of conservation capacity, impounding 1,500,624 acre-feet and Falcon at 19.79 percent of conservation capacity, impounding 523,719 acre-feet. Mexico has 18.58 percent of normal conservation capacity, impounding 470,212 acre-feet at Amistad/Falcon.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

Letters Pertaining to Mexican Water Deficit

IBWC's Minute 309 and Letters

Back to the top of the page Back to top