New Water Deal With Mexico: Imperial Says No

Taylor Hillman General, Water

Colorado River
Water agencies in California, Arizona, and Nevada will soon be buying water from Mexico, under the terms of a recent agreement, but one of California’s major agricultural counties refused to sign the deal. Sabrina Hill reports.
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The agreement is a major amendment to a 1944 treaty that granted Mexico 1.5 million acre-feet of river water each year. The new plan creates new rules on how water from the Colorado River is shared between the US and Mexico. Back in 2001, the US created regulations on how to share the river water among states in times of drought, but did not set aside an allotment for Mexico. Mexico will now also surrender some of its allotment during times of drought and low water levels in Lake Mead.

The Los Angeles Metropolitan water agency, along with the Central Arizona Water Conservation District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority – will now buy water from Mexico – part of $21 million in payments from the US to Mexico.

The Imperial Irrigation District in Southern California refused to sign the agreement, because it felt it should have been allowed to buy some of the water from Mexico. The Imperial Irrigation District is currently the largest single recipient of Colorado River Water.