Water… A resource that is vital to a person’s everyday life. Water is what our farmers use to grow their crops, water is what the energy industry uses to extract oil and gas from the earth, water is what we consumers drink and depend on everyday. Without water, we could not live and function. In fact, water is so important that 70 years ago Texas and Mexico signed a treaty, in 1944, to ensure that both Texas and Mexico would always share water in the Rio Grande River. For decades this treaty has benefitted both Texas and Mexico, however, recently tensions have risen between the two powers. The Texas Mexico Water Treaty has become a point of contention, and steps have been taken to resolve the issues.
In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed to form a boundary between the United States and Mexico. This boundary was formed along the Rio Grande River. It wasn’t until 1944 that the Texas Mexico Water Treaty was signed and described how the water would be shared between Texas and Mexico. The Treaty explained how the water was to be shared between the two parties based on the surplus of water in the river.
The Rio Grande River is one of the largest in North America. It runs 1,885 miles long, and supports many farmers and consumers in both Texas and Mexico. For example, Texas is the largest cotton and cattle producer in the United States. Texas has produced 13.86 million cattle and calves on a five-year average for the United States. Texas also has produced 5,800,000 bales of cotton for the United States. Cotton is used to make jeans, bed sheets, T-shirts, pillowcases, and much more. Produce like cattle and cotton need water and the Rio Grande River is a major contributor to the success of this produce. The cattle and cotton are also used to feed and clothe consumers. Without the Rio Grande River, Texas farmers would not be able to produce this large amount of cattle and cotton. Consumers would not be able to buy the produce they need for their everyday lives.
Not only does the Rio Grande River provide for farmers, but it also contributes to 400 species of wildlife and fish species. The River contains 121 fish species and 69 of them are located nowhere else in the world. It also supports many bird species and a diversity of mollusk.
Finally, the Rio Grande River is significant source of drinking water for both Texas and Mexico. People cannot live without water, which is why “access” and “possession” are such impactful issues. Because of the Texas Mexico Water Treaty, both of the nations have been able to access the water they need to provide for society. However, the extreme drought conditions of the past three years have created controversy regarding the Treaty, and steps are being taken to rectify this situation.
Currently, Texas is not getting its fair share of water. There are six tributaries that run into the Rio Grande from Mexico. These tributaries provide Texas its water, while the Colorado River provides Mexico with water....