U.S.-Mexico Water Sharing: Background and Recent Developments [November 19, 2013]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"How to share water has long been a complex issue for the U.S.-Mexico border region and in the broader U.S.-Mexico relationship. The two countries share a nearly 2,000-mile border. Multiple rivers cross the border or form the border at various points. The principal shared river basins are: [1] the Colorado River, which is predominantly in the United States, and crosses the Mexican border on its way to the Gulf of California (Figure 1), and [2] the Rio Grande, with major tributaries in the United States and Mexico and whose riverbed is the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas (Figure 2). […] This report is a primer on U.S. and Mexican water-sharing topics. It focuses on surface water quantity sharing and recent developments, including drought conditions. Due to Mexico's recent below-target deliveries of Rio Grande water to the United States, particular attention is given to the status, underlying causes, and responses to the Rio Grande water debt. This report describes: [1] legal obligations and processes under the 1944 Water Treaty; [2] drought conditions from 2010 to 2013; [3] water sharing and developments in the Colorado River Basin; [4] water sharing in the Rio Grande Basin and Mexico's water debt; and [5] stakeholder, diplomatic, and legislative responses to Mexico's Rio Grande water debt."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43312
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
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