Federal government asking Mexico to release water to the Valley under 1944 treaty
A U.S. agency is now trying to get Mexico to release water to increase availability in the Rio Grande.
Valley farmers are currently struggling due to a lack of irrigation water for their crops.
The federal government is looking to Mexico — and that country’s 14 dams that are grabbing water before it reaches the Rio Grande — for help.
The International Boundary Water Commission says it's getting the state department involved to get Mexico to meet their end of a treaty.
Mexico has a right to use water from rivers that feed into the Rio Grande, but under a 1944 treaty they’re required to deliver to the United States 1,750,000 acre-feet of water every five years.
2022 marks the second year of the latest cycle.
"Right now we understand farmers are making decisions on planting season, so that is one of the reasons why we're accelerating the pressure on Mexico," IBWC commissioner Maria Elena Giner said. “We have sent an official correspondence to Mexico letting them know of our concerns with this and the fact that the reservoirs in Chihuahua are full right now. And that the further behind we get in deliveries, the higher risk of Mexico not being able to meet its five-year commitment."
A solution like that could mean a lot for farmers this year.
"It would go from being on allocations to not having the allocations, to not having to cut people's farms in half,” Brian Jones said.
Farmers like Jones said they’re still looking to the sky for help.
“We'll still need some help, we'll still need some rainfall,” Jones said.
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