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Media 033114 Colorado River

Monday, March 31, 2014

 

U.S.-Mexico Colorado River Water Release -  Unprecedented Cooperation

 

U.S. Embassy, Mexico City

 

U.S. officials praised Thursday’s [March 27] release of more than 100,000 acre feet of water from the Morelos Dam on the Colorado River as a symbol of the enduring environmental and scientific cooperation between the United States and Mexico.

 

“An environmental water release of this kind is unprecedented in the history of international water sharing agreements,” U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne said. “Scientists and researchers from both the United States and Mexico have been working hand-in-hand for years to prepare for this water release and will now continue collaborating to study its effects on the river ecosystem. I am proud of the spirit of cooperation that allowed for this release inspires our researchers’ joint work.” [sic]

 

The release of more than 100,000 acre feet of water from the Morelos dam, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border just south of Yuma, Az., began on March 23 but hit its peak flow rate on March 27.

 

The United States Department of the Interior has conducted environmental water releases like this in the past within the United States, but this is the first time two countries have worked together to conduct such a release on a shared river.

 

The goal of the release is to restore the flow of the Colorado River in Mexico on an experimental basis. The river has not reached the Sea of Cortes in years, and scientists hope that this environmental pulse flow will help restore wetlands along the river’s shores and entice wildlife who had abandoned the region to return as their habitats come back to life.

 

“Today we’re seeing the first result of our two nations spirit of cooperation dealing with one of the most challenging aspects of Colorado watershed management,” said Andrew Erickson, Consul General of the United States Consulate General in Tijuana in a speech at the Morelos dam. “Water is flowing on the river again, and this pulse flow will have long term impact.”

 

“We understand that the path is one of cooperation,” said Roberto Salmon, the Mexican Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission. “We know that it can be a slow path, but it is the right one. Both governments understand that it is by traveling this path of cooperation that we will obtain the benefits that both countries seek for the good of this region.”

 

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Press release, Mar. 27, 2014, Embassy of the United States, Mexico City.

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