U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) reauthorization to address Mexico's failure to take action to uphold its water obligations to the U.S. under the 1944 Treaty (Utilization of Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande Treaty), contributing to Texas' growing water shortage:
"The water debt and uncertainty about supply harms Texas farmers, ranchers, and small businesses who rely on regular, reliable sources of water.
"Unfortunately, over the past two decades, Texas farmers alone have lost hundreds of millions of dollars during these shortfalls, and the Obama Administration must step up pressure on Mexico before it's too late."
Background on Sen. Cornyn's Amendment
· Requires the Secretary of State to submit a report, no later than 45 days after enactment of WRDA, and quarterly thereafter, describing efforts by Mexico to meet their treaty obligations to deliver water to the Rio Grande under the 1944 Treaty.
· Requires the Secretary of State to put forward an annual report describing the benefits the United States is receiving from the interim cooperative measures in the Colorado River basin that help Mexico following the 2010 earthquake.
· Prevents the Secretary of State from extending benefits for Mexico from this interim agreement if the Secretary fails to comply with the report requirements.
Sen. Cornyn called on President Obama to address the looming threat of water shortages in Texas during his visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. In March, he sent a letter to International Boundary & Water Commissioner Edward Drusina asking him to meet with his counterparts in the Mexican Section, as well as the State Department, to resolve the immediate threat of water shortages for Texas users. Sen. Cornyn also asked the Commissioner to begin direct discussions with Mexico to halt the growth in the water debt owed to the United States.