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Water Shortage: Mexico and the United States

In recent years, Mexico and the United States have clashed over water shortages on either side of the Rio Grande River in South Texas. Mexico's failure to abide by a 1944 water treaty since 1992 has severely damaged U.S. agriculture. While Mexico seems largely unrepentant and unwilling to release water to the U.S., U.S. officials have been accused of ignoring the issue in the wake of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While steps are being made to address the issue, including water conservation and the release of some water owed to the U.S., much remains to be done to solve the shortage. Changes to international law involving the use of shared water resources may provide some long-term relief while the creation of more water conservation measures will likely help alleviate the shortage in the short-term. For Mexican farmers in Chihuahua State, water from the Rio Grande is necessary to maintain and grow an agricultural business that has expanded considerably in the past several decades. At one time, land in Chihuahua State was arid and desert-like, but the building of joint border reservoirs brought the potential for irrigation. In response, families and agricultural companies have created a farming industry in the region that is highly dependent on water from these reservoirs on the Rio Grande (Hawkes; Mexico-U.S. Water Treaty). On the other side of the border, U.S. agriculture interests in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas complain of being starved for water. A recent drought has compounded events that have forced many Texan farming operations out of business (Hawkes; Mexico-U.S. Water Treaty). At the heart of the matter is the failure of the Mexican government to uphold a 1944 water treaty. In 1992, Mexico stopped honoring this water treaty, by failing to allow one third of water in the Rio Grande to flow downstream to the U.S. (Jacobsen). A Texas A&M study has es...

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Water Shortage: Mexico and the United States. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 05:48, August 22, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/201495.html