U.S. pressures Mexico to honor 1944 water treaty

News Center 23

POSTED: Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 3:44pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 31, 2013 - 7:24am

The pressure is on. The 1944 Treaty between Mexico and the United States was designed so that the water in the Rio Grande Basin would be shared equally. The treaty calls for Mexico to deliver water to the Rio Grande for South Texans to use. But now, Mexico owes the U.S. 477,000 acre feet of water.

“An acre foot of water, if you take a football field and you put one foot of water deep on the football field, not counting the end zone, that’s how many, uh, gallons there is – 325,651. And if you stack those up 477,000 times, that’s how much water Mexico owes the U.S.”

Without the extra water, the Valley has been experiencing a drought, both agriculturally and economically. Mexico blames monetary issues for their accumulated deficit.

“The 1944 treaty is a no-teeth treaty, so technically nothing would happen if Mexican officials did not honor their side of the agreement. But folks on this side of the border are hoping that if they put the pressure on Mexico, they’ll stay true to their word.”

Barrera believes that the only way to put significant pressure on Mexico to honor the agreement is to have the president step in.

“We started a, uh, Texans for Treaty Compliance, uh, petition on our website. Our website is www.RGRWA.org. And if we can get, uh, ya know, 10,000, 20,000, gosh as many as 100,000 signatures on a petition that goes to President Obama, maybe we’ll wake him up.”

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

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