Republic: Accord with Mexico set to prevent water crises

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Editorial Board of The Arizona Republic wrote that a water-sharing deal between the United States and Mexico proves that smart water planning has no borders.

Known as Minute 323, the accord represents the continuation of decades of cooperation on water management and improves a previous agreement that expires at the end of the year.

Since 1944, the United States has had a treaty with Mexico regarding the Colorado River and the Rio Grande. Mexico has rights to Colorado River water and its participation in long-range water planning is essential.

Built on a shared goal of boosting the reservoir levels in Lake Mead to prevent shortages, Minute 323 now provides a powerful incentive for Arizona, California and Nevada to finish a much-needed Drought Contingency Plan for the region.

“Water agencies and users have already been investing in projects to leave water in Lake Mead, which is one of the reasons the lake levels have stayed above that critical 1,075 (feet of elevation) point” that triggers a declaration of a shortage, says Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute.

Negotiated by representatives of both United States and Mexico, Minute 323 furthers cooperation and long-term planning to prevent the need for crisis management.

READ: Our View: Mexico's Minute 323 water deal should pay off big for Arizona