The ongoing drought in the U.S.-Mexico border region is showing no sign of letting up and may continue for years.
A recently published report on water resources along the border cautions that reforms and investments need to be implemented now to keep the water flowing in the future.
You can blame global warming, or you can just look out the window and see the list of undisputed ills that is creating a growing scarcity of water for the four states along the southern border.
Diane Austin is the chair of the Good Neighbor Environmental Board, an independent federal advisory committee. It released the report “The Environmental, Economic and Health Status of Water Resources in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region.”
“Arid climate, rapid population growth, aging infrastructure, an international border, high level poverty," are some of the factors, Austin said.
The bottom line: We are in a dry cycle. People need water. We need to focus on solutions now.
“We know we are in times of scarce resources, but there are mechanisms, some in place, some simply need to be continued, some need to be developed," Austin said. "We got to work on it. We can’t sit back and hope this is going to go away.”
Specifically, there needs to be greater cross-border cooperation in data collection. Billions of dollars need to be put back into depleted water development funds. And streamline border state water laws -- that would help create a strategic drought plan for the region.