House Appropriations Committee expresses concern over Mexico’s failure to comply with water treaty
WASHINGTON D.C. — At the request of Congressman Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville), the House Committee on Appropriations State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee in connection with the Fiscal Year 2015 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill Report, expressed concern over Mexico’s continual non-compliance with the 1944 Water Treaty. H.R. 5013, the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2015, was introduced in the House on June 27, 2014.
Pursuant to the 1944 Water Treaty, Mexico is required to deliver average annual allotments of water to the Rio Grande Valley. Mexico has continually failed to set aside adequate amounts of water to comply with its treaty obligations.
Congressman Vela has been working with local, state, and federal officials including Senator John Cornyn, Congresswoman Kay Granger (Chair of the State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee), Congresswoman Nita Lowey (Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee), State Representative Eddie Lucio, III, and Carlos Rubinstein (Chair of the Texas Water Development Board) to ensure Mexico meets its water obligations owed to the U.S.
“I would like to thank Senator Cornyn for leading this effort in the Senate. Along with Senator Cornyn, I greatly appreciate the efforts of Chairwoman Granger, Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Lowey, State Representative Lucio, and Chairman Rubinstein to encourage the International Boundary and Water Commission to take effective action to uphold the terms of the Water Treaty,” said Congressman Vela. “As the House Appropriations Committee is aware, the United States meets its treaty obligations to deliver water to Mexico on the Colorado River, while Mexico continually fails to comply with its water delivery obligations on the Rio Grande River which hurts South Texas' farmers and municipalities. I will continue to work in Congress to encourage Mexico to fulfill its treaty obligations."
The Fiscal Year 2015 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill Report (H.R. 5013) states:
“The Committee notes with concern that Mexico continues to fall short of its obligations under the Treaty for the Utilization of Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and the Rio Grande of 1944 (“Water Treaty”). The March 19, 2014 report of the Department of State to the Congress on actions taken to ensure that the water deficits owed by Mexico to the United States do not increase and that allocations comply with the Water Treaty stated that as of February 15, 2014, Mexico still needed to supply 910,000 acre-feet over the remaining 20 months of the current five-year cycle. The committee directs the Secretary of State to press the Government of Mexico to adopt a proactive water delivery plan that both eliminates the water deficit of the current cycle, and avoids the accumulation of such deficits in the future. Furthermore, the Committee directs that during fiscal year 2015 the Secretary, in consultation with the IBWC Commissioner, report to the appropriate congressional committees on a quarterly basis on the status of water deliveries by Mexico, the remaining deficit in the current cycle, and actions taken to ensure that the water deficits owed by Mexico to the United States are met by the end of 2015.”