Right on the edge, with internal political demands and diplomatic pressure involved, and in the face of a complex hydrological scenario due to drought conditions, Mexico finally complied with the payment of water to the United States.
The International Limits and Waters Commission (CILA) reported just the closing of cycle 35 of liquid transfers from the Mexican basin of the Rio Grande to that country.
He explained that as of October 24, the deadline to do so, 2,158.6 million cubic meters had been transferred, with which the five-year quota provided for in the Treaty on International Water Distribution, signed in 1944, was covered.
Of that amount, 42.7 percent was contributed by the Conchos River, in Chihuahua, and another 42.7 percent by the Salado, San Diego, San Rodrigo, Escondido and Arroyo de las Vacas rivers, in Coahuila and Tamaulipas.
The rest was covered with transfers from the international Amistad and Falcón dams, and with adjustments in the accounting of water deliveries to the US due to losses in the conduction of the liquid.
Per year, 33.8 percent was transferred in 2017 and 27.6 percent in 2020.
The closing of cycle 35 was marked by the conflict generated between federal authorities and the local government and producers in the irrigation districts of Chihuahua over the transfer of liquid from the Conchos river basin.
With protests and blockades, the producers complained from the beginning of the year for what they considered a disproportionate extraction of water from the dams in the basin to cover the quota to be paid to the US, affecting the availability of liquid for agricultural irrigation. The reproach was supported by the Government of Javier Corral.
The National Water Commission, meanwhile, argued that, in fact, the contribution of the basin was below that predicted in the studies on which the 1944 treaty was based and the average of previous cycles.
For its part, the Government of Texas sued the US State Department to demand that the authorities comply with the payment of the fee on time.
Two days after the expiration of the deadline to close cycle 35, and given the impossibility of complying with the five-year quota in time, the US and Mexican sections of the CILA signed Act 325, which established that the remaining amount, around 130 million cubic meters, it would be covered with transfers from the Amistad and Falcón dams.
Faced with the risk of shortages in the Mexican border municipalities, the US pledged to provide “humanitarian” support, allowing it to have, as a loan and until October 31, 2021, its own water from international dams.