U.S.-Mexico Reach Accord On Sharing Colorado River Water

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The U.S. and Mexico have reached an agreement on how to share water from the Colorado River, a five-year deal crafted to help both nations prepare for future droughts.

Under the agreement, regional water agencies in California, Arizona, and Nevada will purchase nearly 100,000 acre-feet of water from Mexico’s share of the river, enough to cover 200,000 households for a year. In return, Mexico will receive $10 million to repair damage along hundreds of miles of irrigation canals caused by a 2010 earthquake — repairs that will bring thousands of acres of farmland back into production, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The U.S. will also promise to buy additional water and allow it to flow to the delta south of the border, a region that has seen reduced water flow in recent years as U.S. water demands upstream have increased.

In addition, Mexico will agree to take lesser water during periods of drought, but will be allowed to keep some of its water in Lake Mead, the vast reservoir that straddles Nevada and Arizona, providing badly needed storage capacity.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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