A transnational dispute between two neighbours


During the last decades the media has been wondering about the possibility of conflicts or maybe wars, occasioned by regional or international disputes over the control and acces to water.

This resource has been experimenting intense pressure during the last years as demand increases, which has end up evidencing regional and international conflicts.

Actors involved seek to ensure access to water.

The area of the border between Mexico and US is a clear example of the starting point in what is going to be an issue that could probably become bigger and bigger in coming decades.

Mexico suffers from extreme arid conditions which limit water availability, the same happens in the low west coast of US, were thousand miles of desert cover most of the territory that goes along the boundary with Mexico.

In this framework, were the two actors involved are obliged to reach agreements and create rules and treaties for the good coexistence of both, was created in 1889 The International Boundary and Water Commission, which is the organism encharged of the administration and distribution of the waters coming from the Rio Grande and of the Colorado River.

Not just that, the first treaties come from 1848 where boundaries were not delimited yet and rivers were part of disagreements and disputes between both countries.

Untill these days, many agreements, treaties, organisms, etc… have been negociated and created in order to solve this issue. Everyone knows about the importance of an efficient access and control of the water and conflicts of huger magnitude will ocuppy space in the US and Mexico´s agendas.

The tension grows between the two countries

Disputes such as the water seeks the Rio Grande border between the U.s and Mexico, it could also happen in some other parts of the world due to water scarcity.The U.S government and the sourthern state of Texas bordering Mexico, calling to Mexico, preotected by the 1944 treaty governing the sharing of the Rio Grande, the payment of 2,000 million cubic meters of water. But Mexico cant afford to pay and also admitted that more than 70 percent of available water on its border with the US is lost as leakage and evaporation  and inefficient irrigation systems.Image

In the dispute, Texas threatened to take legal action against Mexico, and Mexico promised to comply with international commitments, but not sacrificing their compatriots.

While the water in Rio Grande and its tributaires was enough, there was no friction between the two countries, but now emerging demands and threats, as drought hit hard the border.

Previsions for the future


Water could be the motive of the wars of the century, experts said on numerous occasions and officials of the UN. Although not everyone shares that claim, few doubt that water is a source of growing conflict.

Worldwide; 1,400 million people lack adequate to safe water and 3,4 million die each year from causes relatec to consuption of contaminated water.Image

Water is a limited resource, so that its misuse is a serious mistake and a crime for generations.

Susana Andres

Alejandro Gonzalez

Jaime Carro

Deborah Jeggli



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