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Sens. Cruz, Cornyn Introduce Legislation to Secure Mexican Compliance with Water Treaty

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), today introduced legislation to enhance support for U.S. diplomats and officials seeking to secure Mexican compliance with the 1944 Treaty on Utilization of Waters of the Colorado, Tijuana, and Rio Grande Rivers. This legislation would make sure future deliveries of water by Mexico are predictable and reliable.

About the legislation, Sen. Cruz said, “Mexico has consistently failed to uphold its end of the bargain when it comes to supplying the U.S. with water. Mexican officials are now so far in arrears, they will be unable to comply with the treaty and will fall short for the current cycle. These shortfalls have resulted in acute water shortages across the Southwest, and have been particularly devastating to Texans and Texas farmers. I am proud to spearhead language that will ensure our diplomats have the resources and backing they need to secure Mexican compliance.”

Sen. Cornyn said, “If the drought and harsh weather conditions persist into the summer, it will continue to harm Texas agriculture and put the Amistad reservoir in imminent danger of falling below the water level needed to generate power for South Texans,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I am glad to cosponsor this legislation with Sen. Cruz to pressure the State Department to negotiate with Mexico to comply with its Treaty obligations and deliver the water it owes so farmers, ranchers, cities, and business owners in the Rio Grande Valley can continue to keep their doors open and their crops growing.”


  • One of the primary ways that the U.S. seeks to ensure predictable and reliable water supply to the Rio Grande Valley is through the Treaty on Utilization of Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande (“the Treaty”), signed between the U.S. and Mexico in 1944.
  • The Treaty is administered by the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC).
  • Mexico routinely fails to meet its five-year obligations, preventing American farmers from access to predictable and reliable water. According to the U.S. Section of the IBWC, Mexico currently owes the U.S. nearly 750,000 acre-feet of water. U.S. diplomats and officials in the U.S. section of the IBWC have been pushing Mexico to fulfill its commitments and agree to rules that regularize deliveries. They have been unsuccessful thus far, while water shortages across the Southwest are becoming acute.
  • This bill directs the Secretary of State to fully support the IBWC’s efforts and use the voice, vote, diplomatic capital, and resources necessary to bring Mexico into compliance.