The International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico (IBWC) met with federal and state officials and members of nongovernmental organizations from both countries on June 1 in Tijuana, Baja California to discuss progress on Colorado River Joint Cooperative Actions.  The Joint Cooperative Actions are being undertaken within the framework of Minute 317, a 2010 IBWC agreement that established various work groups to enhance U.S.-Mexico cooperation related to the Colorado River.

In accordance with Minute 317, the Commission is coordinating the exploration and evaluation of potential areas of cooperation and the consideration of projects or initiatives of interest to both countries, which focus on the initial topics of water conservation, identifying new water sources, improving hydraulic and hydrologic system operations, and identifying water for environmental purposes.

The Commission has identified a number of issues and projects of interest to both countries and has directed work groups to perform technical analysis and undertake planning related to these topics in 2011.  The topics include:

  • Pilot water conservation project
  • Fallowing
  • Environmental restoration project at the Miguel Aleman site in Mexico
  • Conveyance of Mexican water through the All-American Canal
  • Feasibility Study of a binational desalination plant at Rosarito, Baja California
  • Hydrology, including shortage and surplus management
  • Salinity
  • Intentionally Created Mexican Allocation – a means by which Mexico could store water in the United States for delivery at a later time
  • Water for the environment

“The Commission has been hard at work this year identifying priorities and issues for our work groups to focus on.  We are looking forward to achieving significant advances in 2011,” said U.S. Commissioner Edward Drusina.

Mexican Commissioner Roberto Salmon indicated that he is pleased with the advances that have been made with regard to Colorado River cooperative actions and stated his confidence that at least one of the projects currently under discussion could be finalized before the end of the current year.

The work groups will continue to meet throughout the summer and fall as they perform the research, technical analysis, and planning for the various topics.  The Commission will consider the material prepared by the work groups in developing future Minutes with agreements on the issues being addressed.

Meeting participants included United States Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Mexico, and senior water managers from both countries.


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Sally Spener