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Cornyn Discusses Mexico’s Delayed Water Deliveries with Secretary Blinken

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Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) recently voiced concerns with Secretary of State Antony Blinken about Mexico’s ongoing delays in meeting its water delivery commitments to Texas. These delays are according to the longstanding Treaty Relating to the Utilization of Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande. Image for illustration purposes
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) recently voiced concerns with Secretary of State Antony Blinken about Mexico’s ongoing delays in meeting its water delivery commitments to Texas. These delays are according to the longstanding Treaty Relating to the Utilization of Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande. Image for illustration purposes
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Texas Border Business

Senator Cornyn

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) recently voiced concerns with Secretary of State Antony Blinken about Mexico’s ongoing delays in meeting its water delivery commitments to Texas. These delays are according to the longstanding Treaty Relating to the Utilization of Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande.

Senator Cornyn emphasized the severe impact of these delays, stating, “Now in the fourth year of a five-year cycle, Mexico continues to fall further and further behind in fulfilling its obligations and releasing the water it owes to the Amistad and Falcon reservoirs, and it is having dire consequences.” He highlighted the pressing need for these water deliveries to support the livelihoods of South Texas farmers and ranchers.

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During the call, which included U.S. Representatives Tony Gonzales, Henry Cuellar, Monica De La Cruz, and Vincente Gonzalez, Cornyn urged Secretary Blinken to leverage all available resources to ensure Mexico’s compliance with the treaty. The urgency of this issue is stressed by the fact that as of October 2020, Mexico is approximately 817,000 acre-feet behind on water deliveries, having only fulfilled about 32% of its obligation in the current cycle.

The history of Mexico’s water deliveries to the U.S. under this treaty is fraught with similar challenges. Historically, Mexico has delayed fulfilling its water delivery obligations until the end of each five-year cycle. This practice disrupts agricultural planning and operations across South Texas, impacting crop growth and livestock sustainability.

The Treaty Relating to the Utilization of Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande, established in 1944, mandates that Mexico deliver an average of 350,000-acre feet of water annually over five years. This agreement was part of a bigger effort to manage and share the Rio Grande’s water resources, vital for agriculture, industry, and municipal uses along the border.

However, the implementation of this treaty needs to be revised. Delays and disputes have been a regular feature, often exacerbated by drought conditions and increasing water demands on both sides of the border. These issues are not isolated incidents but a recurring pattern reflecting deeper challenges in bilateral water management and cooperation.

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As Texas faces another year of inadequate water supplies, intensified by ongoing drought conditions, local officials, including Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez, have issued disaster declarations in response to the acute water shortages.

Secretary Blinken

Senator Cornyn’s call with Secretary Blinken builds on previous efforts to address and resolve these critical water delivery issues, including a resolution supporting diplomatic engagements and various communications with the State Department. These diplomatic pushes highlight the broader implications of water management in U.S.-Mexico relations and the essential nature of compliance with international agreements for regional stability and prosperity.

As negotiations continue, resolving this issue remains a priority for Texas lawmakers, who are persistent in securing a reliable water supply for their constituents. The ongoing dialogue with Mexico is crucial in ensuring that both nations can find a sustainable solution to manage the shared water resources of the Rio Grande, which is vital for the well-being and economic health of communities along the border.

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