EPA and Mexico Develop 13.9 million Project to Improve Border

Partners and stakeholders of the U.S.–Mexico Border 2012 National Coordinators announced the initiation of a $13.9 million project, including $4 million from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), for the joint development of a Regional Framework for Sustainable Use of the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande and to address environmental issues.

In recognition of the 1,800 mile long transboundary river, officials from EPA and Mexico Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) announced the initiation the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande project to address environmental issues and develop a binational plan. The project includes development of a protocol assessment, a transboundary diagnostic analysis (TDA) and a plan for preventive measures.

The four year binational project aims to improve the understanding of the natural resources, societal waters needs and associated response strategies. EPA, SEMARNAT, Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua (IMTA) and Texas State University/River System Institute have worked continuously with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to identify and develop project components, activities and goals.

The Project Steering Committee, representatives from the U.S., Mexico and UNEP, will work with the Organization of American States and other partners to execute targeted research activities, pilot projects and recommend integrated water resources management practices. The committee will also address the sustainable use of the transboundary river basin and jointly improve the management and sustainable use of the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande and its resources.

EPA takes great pride in the continuing efforts with Mexico, protecting the health of approximately 12 million border residents and improving the environment of the border region by completing the Border 2012 project. The partners are now coordinating efforts for the Border 2020 initiative which will encompass Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Durango of Mexico and Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.