Officials discuss Mexico's water debt to US

News Center 23

POSTED: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 3:28pm

UPDATED: Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 10:49am

"The United States fulfills its obligation like clockwork, which is a good thing. But in South Texas the obligation is the reverse, and it's Mexico's obligation to deliver to us and they do not," said Congressman Filemon Vela.

It's no secret that Mexico has not been on track delivering the water it owes to the US.

Our neighbors to the South are almost 400,000 acre feet of water behind on their delivers.

Add the impact of that to the drought the Rio Grande Valley is already experiencing, and there's a recipe for disaster.

"If you take 400,000 football fields and submerge 'em in one foot of water, that's a lot of water. And that could certainly address the agricultural needs, and every- the business needs, the economic development of this region," said Texas Senate member Eddie Lucio, Jr.

But instead of setting aside a certain amount of water to deliver to the US, Mexico only delivers water after a large rain event. And that's why officials believe further action is necessary.

"Because so many aspects of life are dependent upon water, city, state and government officials signed a petition called "Texas for Treaty Compliance" to urge President Obama to take action on the dilemma with Mexico."

"The petition is signed basically to let the leaders of our country know that there's a serious issue down here and, uh, efforts need to be undertaken to ensure Mexico's compliance with the treaty," said Rio Grande Compact Commissioner Herman Settemeyer.

"I really does affect our everyday lives. It might give them the feel that they need to work through the state department to enforce compliance," said Texas House Representative Eddie Lucio III.

"Whatever happens here, we strengthen the border, we have a quality of life along the border, it impacts the rest of the state, the rest of the country in a very positive way," said Lucio Jr.

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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