Hidalgo County developing plan to address projected water shortages

1 month 5 days 7 hours ago Friday, April 12 2024 Apr 12, 2024 April 12, 2024 8:06 PM April 12, 2024 in News - Local

Hidalgo County commissioners are meeting with an Austin-based company to coordinate a “countywide” plan to address water shortages expected to arrive in the summer, according to a news release.

The news of the plan comes after Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez signed a disaster declaration over ongoing drought conditions.

READ MORE: Hidalgo County judge issues disaster declaration over ongoing drought

According to the Friday news release, combined water levels at the Amistad and Falcon international reservoirs that provide water to the Rio Grande Valley were at 22% as of Saturday, March 30.

“That is the lowest starting point for U.S. ownership at these reservoirs since records began being kept,” the news release stated.

The company H20 Partners is working with water suppliers across the county to develop “a cohesive response to water availability issues,” according to the release.

Hidalgo County leaders are also pointing to the need for Mexico to release water under an international treaty.

“We started our analysis by looking at the water that Mexico owes us, but we also realized that mathematically Mexico’s non-compliance with the Treaty of 1944 doesn’t account for all our missing water.” Judge Cortez said in a statement. “So now we need to see where the rest of our water is and why it isn’t reaching us.”

The request for information comes on the heels of a phone call between Valley and state representatives in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken over Mexico's failure to follow the water treaty.

The lawmakers are asking Blinken to help get Mexico to release water.

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