U.S., Mexico officials urge collaboration on water issues - Albuquerque Journal

U.S., Mexico officials urge collaboration on water issues

In this 2017 file photo, the Rio Grande flows with the Mexican neighborhood of Anapra on the left and El Paso, Texas, on the right. Water experts from New Mexico, Texas and Mexico convened this week in a virtual conference to discuss regional water issues. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

International officials must work together to research and conserve shared groundwater supplies, experts from New Mexico, Texas and the Mexican state of Chihuahua said during a virtual conference this week.

Sam Fernald, director of the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, said that how the countries choose to use water now will influence the border region’s environment and economy for the next 1,000 years.

“Our shared aquifers are more important than ever in the face of diminished surface water supplies due to drought and climate change,” Fernald said.

The “Two Nations, One Water” conference featured university and government presentations about acequias, water quality and measuring agricultural water use.

Luis Carlos Alatorre, an engineer with Mexico’s National Water Commission, said the two countries need to improve wastewater systems to protect common water supplies.

“There is a lot of opportunity here,” Alatorre said. “But, we have to put these projects into play at the government-to-government level.”

The Mesilla Basin aquifer system serves Las Cruces, El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s latest report on the aquifer states that “declining water levels, deteriorating water quality, and increasing use of groundwater resources by municipal, industrial and agricultural water-users on both sides of the international border have raised concerns about the long-term availability of this supply.”

Maria-Elena Giner, U.S. commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission for the U.S. and Mexico, urged groups to share data that can help politicians advocate for funding regional water infrastructure.

The commission is headquartered in El Paso, and manages water treaties, and international reservoirs and treatment plants.

“The science piece and the technical piece seems to always work well,” Giner said. “It is in the case of actual transboundary work where I’ve noticed that there has been challenges is in the legal frameworks. So, it’s about how we get beyond just talking science and modeling.”

The conference will conclude Thursday.

 

Theresa Davis is a Report for America corps member covering water and the environment for the Albuquerque Journal.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
In Pictures: Scenic Views, Vintage Train
ABQnews Seeker
> iframe {position: absolute;top: 0;left: ... > iframe {position: absolute;top: 0;left: 0;} _psEmbed(''); Tourists from all over the country come to the small towns of Chama, New Mexico, and ...
2
UNM regents give up power over purchasing
ABQnews Seeker
Administration given the power to make ... Administration given the power to make decisions
3
Televised mayoral debate gets personal
ABQnews Seeker
Gonzales accuses Keller of 'serious misconduct,' ... Gonzales accuses Keller of 'serious misconduct,' mayor denies allegations
4
ABQ stadium bond question is botched
ABQnews Seeker
Ballot correctly describes gross receipts tax ... Ballot correctly describes gross receipts tax issue, then mislabels it as GO bond
5
Man who fell from Pit suite settles for $144K
ABQnews Seeker
State paid one-third of settlement, while ... State paid one-third of settlement, while contractors on renovation paid the remainder
6
Noncritical amount of toxic chemicals found in private wells
ABQnews Seeker
EPA links exposure to low birth ... EPA links exposure to low birth weights, certain cancers
7
Suspect held in monthlong string of robberies
ABQnews Seeker
Bandit apologized to victims in over ... Bandit apologized to victims in over a dozen alleged heists
8
Man charged in mother's slaying on West Side
ABQnews Seeker
She had posted bond for son ... She had posted bond for son on Oct. 5 to clear a warrant
9
DA to refer Gonzales fraud case to State Police
ABQnews Seeker
Case to be forwarded after mayoral ... Case to be forwarded after mayoral election