Spilling more water down the river?

Boats on Lake Mead in 2015. (LA Times pix via SDUT)

Boats on Lake Mead in 2015. (LA Times pix via SDUT)

Everyone seems to be in a rush to meet the deadline. You know, Inauguration Day.

According to a two-week-old story out of the San Diego Union-Tribune that appeared in today’s Las Vegas newspaper, negotiators are racing to cut a deal between the U.S. and Mexico on how to divvy up the dwindling supply of Colorado River water before that mean old Donald Trump takes office and appoints a bunch of mean old bureaucrats who might put America’s interests first.

“Because many of the key players at the federal level are expected to leave office next month, there is rising uncertainty over how much support for such an agreement can be expected under future Trump appointees,” the story relates. “Beyond that, some are fearful that the collaboration between the United States and Mexico on the issue could be tainted by the politically heated rhetoric that the new administration has brought to other bilateral issues with Mexico such as trade and immigration.”

In 2012, despite a drought that was and is parching the Southwest, the U.S. penned an agreement with Mexico that was aimed at releasing water across the border to restore the Colorado River Delta, basically a marshland in Mexico that had largely dried up due to urban and agricultural uses of the water.

The current Obama administration negotiators seem head bent to hash out a deal that makes the U.S. look magnanimous rather that deal that is in the best interest of users of the Colorado River in the seven states it feeds.

People seem to forget that a study of tree rings along the banks of the Colorado River by researchers from the University of Arizona found that the 20th century was the wettest of any century going back to the 4th century B.C. So, this may not be a drought at all, but the return to normal, and every drop will be dear.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to have negotiators who put the interests of their own constituents first?

Maybe I could order some red caps with white lettering on the front: “Quench America’s Thirst First.”

 

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13 comments on “Spilling more water down the river?

  1. Vernon Clayson says:

    Scientists say?? What do they know, even going back to the 4th century BC is a blink in time compared to the time it has taken nature with its water, wind and earth movements to form the Grand Canyon. Computer projections and tree rings can’t tell us what will happen in the future, we have to wait to see how much snow and ice melt will come down from faraway mountains to service Nevada and Arizona. Mexico has ocean on two sides, California has one very long side, they both should consider desalization before taking the trickle they get from the Colorado.

  2. Athos says:

    17 days and a wake up till this nightmare Pinocchio is HISTORY!

  3. Thomas Mitchell says:

    17 days and a wake up? I think that gives away a bit your life’s experiences.

  4. Rincon says:

    The International Boundary and Water Commission negotiated the 1944 United States-Mexico Treaty for Utilization of Water of the Rio Grande, Colorado, and Tijuana rivers and allotted to Mexico a guaranteed annual quantity of water from these sources. So far as I’m concerned, a deal is a deal. The question is whether this agreement violates the previous understanding. From your reference Thomas, it seems that the answer is that it does not:

    “Under a new agreement reached last week, the United States will get more water during times of drought. And in times of plenty, Mexico will be able to store excess water north of the border…..This water will come from Mexico’s share of the river. Or more specifically, from Mexican farmers who are willing to sell back some water on the open market. Overall, the plan calls for Mexican farmers to give back about 3 percent of their water allocation.”

    Can anyone show that this agreement is not in keeping with the original treaty?

    If we in the United States ever have a shortage of water from the Colorado, all we need to do is to stop growing so much cotton, a very thirsty crop which can be grown in many other areas. California is the fourth largest producer with Arizona coming in 6th. The Colorado hasn’t reached the ocean since 1998. Whether that was worth it so that a few (million and/or)billionaires and their corporations could grow slightly more profitable crops is highly questionable in my estimation.

  5. Steve says:

    Not sure the agreement is the issue. Seems to me, politicking is the problem.
    Smooth transfer, nope. Ready or not, “Get as much of this stuff done while we still hold power” appears to be the order of the day.

  6. Rincon says:

    You expect him to sit on his hands? I note though, that you decided not to answer my question, so I repeat, “Can anyone show that this agreement is not in keeping with the original treaty?”

  7. There is no agreement yet. The point is not whether it is in keeping with the treaty but whether the U.S. cuts the best deal it can for its residents, not weeds and minnows in the delta.

  8. The fact that “the deal” was made in 1944…is reason enough for a re-evaluation and changes in allotments. And yes, it’s time to negotiate for changes that benefit the states enumerated above, and I would argue that the incoming administration understands that far better than this progressive BS administration does.

  9. Rincon says:

    You want the U.S. to cut the best deal for its residents or for a few ag corporations? Like I said, a deal is a deal, unless you can think of some pressing reason that we should unilaterally withhold flow from Mexico.

    If the deal from 1944 needs reevaluation, then might I suggest that we also reevaluate the rest of the water rights for our own people out west, many which were granted in the 1800’s.

  10. Steve says:

    I wasn’t trying to answer your question. But Tom did.
    I was offering an observation.
    Seems to me Obama is trying to force everything he can through, on his way out.

    On another front, it was heartening to see Congress get stomped on today….surprisingly, by a Trump tweet that inspired a whole shitload of people to call their reps and ended up shaming the House into scrapping the bill that would have killed the Ethics Committee.
    Not a good way for the House to start but it certainly handed a bunch of power to Trump.
    There might be a new sheriff in DC.

  11. Athos says:

    “BS” Barry Soetoro. I get it!

    What a petulant child this cretin is! As much as I didn’t think it possible, the more Pinocchio sticks around, the smaller he becomes.

    Sad, really. How’s that make you cool aide drinkers feel, Rinny? Patrick? petey with a small p?

  12. Rincon says:

    According to Snopes, the BS is in the original story. Just more Conservative propaganda. http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/studentid.asp It would seem that some took it seriously. Hopefully, you’re smarter than that.

    Speaking of the smaller he becomes, petty insults are indeed, small minded. They say more about the originator than they do of their target.

  13. Linda Sanders says:

    “Take care of your own house/family FIRST.” Long time human proverb

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