Special Report: Water in the RGV

Newscenter 23

POSTED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 3:56pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 3, 2013 - 7:25am

Water, it's a precious resource. Several parts of the Rio Grande Valley are in jeopardy of running out of this life-giving liquid for two main reasons the current drought conditions and Mexico's failure to deliver water under the 1944 International Water Treaty.
Under the treaty Mexico is required to deliver 1.75 million acre-feet of water to the US by 20-15, so far Mexico has released only a small amount.
General manager of the Delta Lake Irrigation District Troy Allen and several irrigation districts sued Mexico back in 2005 fearing this problem, but they were unsuccessful. Allen says time is running out and soon they could run out of water for farmers.

"By 2015 we would be bone dry by then, we are looking at anywhere from six to eight weeks at this point." said Allen.

Allen's irrigation district delivers water to more than 70-thousand acres of land in Hidalgo and Willacy County.

"If we run out of water and don't have agriculture water for municipalities to piggy back off the cost to them is going is going to be devastating because they are currently looking at spending 2 to 3 times what they are currently spending to get water."said Allen.

"Don't know how we will be able to sustain it, if we do run out of water." said Farmer Dale Murden.

Farmer Dale Murden runs Rio Farms incorporated in Hidalgo County. His land is in the Delta Lake Irrigation District.

"Starting to shape up as the worst time I have gone through." said Murden.

Murden says if Mexico does not pay up on the water they owe the US his 15,000 acres of farm land and 25 employees could be in jeopardy.

"No water no crop, no crop no money it's an honestly brutal concept if I can’t grow a crop no income."
"Layoffs, jobs are going to be affected."said Murden.

US Congressman Filemon Vela has spoken with farmers including Murden about this water crisis.

"You can read about it, you can hear about it until you talk to the people who are suffering the consequences of the drought and Mexico failure to deliver water, you don't understand it once you do you get to see what they are going through, and so it’s my job to put this message forward and help everyone who is suffering the consequences of what we are going through."

Vela says he will continuing fighting in Washington putting the pressure on the State Department and International Boundary and Water Commission to keep talking with Mexico to get them to release that much needed water.


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