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US and Mexico face growing dispute over water in Rio Grande
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The scarcity of water in the Rio Grande has caused great tensions between the United States and Mexico. The river is used by both countries for agricultural and water supply needs, as well as businesses, and over the years, the combination of climate change, overuse and mismanagement. This shortage situation could lead to an international dispute.

Historical context

The Rio Grande, which is also known as Rio Bravo in Mexico, is internationally regulated by treaties such as the 1944 Water Treaty, which establishes the distribution of water between the two countries. The treaty has been a cooperation mechanism, which has generally ensured that both countries make fair use of water. However, in recent years, available water has decreased drastically. Climate change has been playing a crucial role in lowering the Rio Grande's water levels. Rising temperatures and accelerated evaporation have reduced the river's flow. Studies indicate that, if these trends continue, water availability could decline further in the coming decades, overcoming existing tensions.

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Economic Implications and possibility of conflicts


Military patrol operations Rio Grande, Eagle Pass Texas. (Photo: reproduction/ Angela Piazza/ Corpus Christi Caller-Times)

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Water scarcity in the Rio Grande has significant economic and social implications. Farmers on both sides of the border have been facing difficulties irrigating their crops, which can lead to agricultural losses in addition to impacting food security. The local community that depends on the river for its drinking water supply is also at risk.

The recent conflict tension suggests that if immediate action is not taken, the US and Mexico could enter into a dispute over water. Both countries have already expressed their concerns about the lack of compliance with the terms of the 1944 treaty. So far diplomatic negotiations have avoided a direct conflict. The adoption of water conservation technologies and sustainable resource management have been essential to prevent an escalation of tensions.

Featured Photo: Texas National Guard soldiers install additional barbed wire along the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas (Reproduction/John Moore/AFP)

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US and Mexico face growing dispute over water in Rio Grande

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