Monday, January 24, 2011

Water deal is key for U.S., Mexico

The challenges facing the United States-Mexico border region get a lot of attention – and deservedly so. The examples of truly bilateral solutions are, however, few in number. That’s one reason why the agreement recently announced by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Mexico’s Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada to “bank” a portion of Mexico’s Colorado River water allotment in Lake Mead is so important. The Colorado River’s importance to the Western United States cannot be overstated. Its water powers homes and factories, irrigates fields and pastures, and provides the lion’s share of the basin states’ drinking water. At the same time, growing population, climate change and 11 years of the worst drought in the region’s history have taken their toll, compromising both water quantity and quality. Western states face dire choices – including water rationing – if Lake Mead water levels continue to drop, and only urgent action can protect the communities, industries and wildlife that depend upon the river to grow and thrive. Last month’s announcement is in direct response to the April 2010 earthquake in Mexicali that wrecked the canals and reservoirs that irrigate northern Mexico’s agricultural breadbasket with water from the Colorado. The agreement gives Mexico time to repair its earthquake-ravaged infrastructure and eventually recall its allotment from storage in Lake Mead. The agreement also buys Western states a little more time to put long-term water management solutions in place...more


Anonymous said...

Water banking? Just wait until the depositors want to make their withdrawls. my guess is they will face the deflation of their wealth due to evaporation and the continued over-use by up-stream users. Not much different than when you deal with a bank.

Frank DuBois said...

Hilarious, but true.