Cornyn, Vela Praise Mexico’s Payment of Water Debt

In: All News   Posted 02/25/2016

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Cornyn (R-TX) and U.S. Representative Filemon Vela (TX-34) released this statement following the announcement that Mexico had paid down its current Rio Grande water debt in full, in compliance with a 1944 Treaty on water sharing between the U.S. and Mexico.

“This milestone is critical to the farmers, ranchers and communities in South Texas who rely on a steady source of water, and I’m pleased Mexico has erased this debt and honored its obligation to Texans.  Fulfilling this commitment should serve as a basis for reaching a more permanent solution and helps ensure the close relationship between our two countries can continue to grow ,” said Sen. Cornyn.

“The recent announcement that Mexico has completed delivery of water previously owed to the United States is welcome news to South Texas and to those of us who have been working to ensure that Mexico fulfills its obligation,” said Rep. Vela.  “While eliminating the current water deficit  is an important step, the true test will be the ongoing delivery of water as required by the agreement between the two nations.  To prevent a similar deficit situation from developing in the future, Mexico must craft a long-term, sustainable plan that recognizes the rights of water users on both sides of the border.  The water that flows between our two countries is critical to farmers and communities in both nations, and we must ensure the equitable division of this shared resource.  As we move forward, we must remain vigilant to ensure that we do not return to a deficit situation and that issues are addressed  before they develop into larger problems.”

Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Vela worked to include language to reinforce the U.S.-Mexico Treaty and require the State Department and the International Boundary Water Commission (IBWC) to assess the impact Mexico’s water debt has on South Texans and U.S. interests in the Omnibus Appropriations bill for FY 2016.  They also led members of the Texas delegation in a letter to President Obama on this issue in 2014.