Water pressure rising along U.S.-Mexican border
La Llorona Park in Las Cruces, New Mexico, burst to life in April. Joggers, children on bikes and chirping birds gravitated to a Río Grande that looked like a river again after more closely resembling a sand trail for months.
But local growers in the region’s agriculture-rich Mesilla Valley did not celebrate. Water released from upstream reservoirs flowed past their fields and onward to El Paso, Texas, with 12,000 acre-feet of it continuing to the Juárez Valley in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
Some U.S. farmers and Texas officials complained that the release to Mexico, which took place over several days, was timed too early, possibly squandering the precious resource in a drought year. For their part, Mexican farmers, also buffeted by drought, argued the water couldn’t come soon enough. And U.S. officials, hearing from both sides, greenlighted the delivery, explaining they were only complying with a century-old treaty governing water-sharing between the two nations.