Binational Group on Colorado River Holds First Meeting

The International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, convened a Binational Core Group in March. The group was created to address cooperative actions for the use of the Colorado River waters in both countries.

The objective of the joint cooperative process is to establish, under the auspices of the commission, an international group of representatives of federal, state, and expert nongovernment organization stakeholders from the United States and Mexico to explore, identify, and ultimately implement water conservation, shortage management, augmentation, and environmental initiatives with binational benefits in the areas of environmental, agricultural and urban water use.

All joint cooperative projects and measures must be consistent with the 1944 Water Treaty, which allots a portion of the waters of the Colorado River to Mexico.

At its first meeting, the group established workgroups in  1) conservation, 2) new water sources, 3) environmental issues, and 4) system operations.

"The U.S. Section of the Commission is very interested in promoting cooperation in the region among interests from the United States and Mexico. Through this group, we will be able to consider joint projects to benefit water users in both countries," said U.S. Commissioner Carlos Marin.

Mexican Commissioner Arturo Herrera added, "Considering the cooperative relationship that prevails among Colorado River stakeholders, both in Mexico and the U.S., the measures adopted in this meeting strengthen binational efforts, which will allow for the identification and implementation of joint measures to assure the sustainable management of the waters of the Colorado River. This sustainability optimizes water supply for environmental, urban, and agricultural uses to counteract variations in the basin due to climate change or operation of the basin's infrastructure itself."

The commission is a treaty-based bilateral organization responsible for applying the boundary and water treaties between the United States and Mexico and settling differences that arise in their application.

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