Population Growth, Pollution And Water Management Of the Rio Grande River



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Population Growth, Pollution

And

Water Management



Of the

Rio Grande River

Fidel R. Rul III

Ecological Economics

Professor Flomenhof

August 16, 2004


Introduction

“At the heart of the desert there is no drought, there is only an occasional mitigation of dryness,” (Webb, 1997). The Rio Grande begins its journey to the Gulf of Mexico from springs and snow melts high in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Along its way to the Gulf, the Rio Grande travels nearly 2,000 miles.1 As it journeys southward, its waters are diverted for irrigation, flood control, power generation, municipal and recreation uses. Big Bend National Park borders the northern extension of the Chihuahuan Desert, the largest North American desert. Even though water sources may dot the arid landscape and flash floods occur after heavy rains, the Rio Grande River is the park’s primary source of water.

By the time the Rio Grande passes El Paso, the riverbed between El Paso and Presidio lies dry because of the amount of water that has been diverted. According to the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), a bi-national organization, sixty-nine to eighty-six percent of the water in the Rio Grande downstream of Presidio, depending on the annual rainfall, flows from the Mexican Rio Conchos, which originates in the Sierra Madre in Chihuahua (IBWC 1997). The Rio Conchos meets with the Rio Grande near Ojinaga, Chihuahua and Presidio, Texas.

The Rio Grande basin and its associated natural system, cultural resources, and recreational opportunities offer prime tourist attractions. However, river flow quantities and water quality threaten those natural systems and related opportunities.

Population Growth along the Border

The major demands on the Rio Grande are created and amplified by the extreme population growth in Texas and Northern Mexico. Northern Mexico has become a prime destination for migrants within Mexico. Although statistics are limited, from 1987 to 1988, the population of Ciudad Juarez grew by 1.8 percent due to natural increase and 7.5 percent due to migration. Other border towns saw similar increases in population, such as, Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo grew by 1.3 and 1.2, respectively, due to natural increase; and both grew by 3.7 percent due to migration.

Growth in the Mexican population along the border has been amazing throughout most of the twentieth century. In the U.S. when “high growth” regions are discussed, the South in general and Texas in particular are often mentioned. However, we have not had the growth rate nearly as high as Northern Mexico. In four out of five pairs of twin cities along the Texas-Mexico border, the U.S. city was larger in 1920 (see table 1). By 1970, the Mexican city was the larger twin in each case. And by 1990, each Mexican twin was significantly larger that its U.S. counterpart.

From 1920 to 1990, the slowest average annual growth rate in any of the five Mexican border cities equaled the highest growth rate of any of Texas’ large cities. During this period, Texas’ population grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent, one-third faster than the nation. This impressive growth was exceeded in each of the four bordering states in Mexico (see table 1).

These high growth rates reinforce the conclusion that among the many issues that accompany population growth pollution, water quality degradation, and water demand will increase at an incredible rate.

Water Flow Quantities

There are many international and national agreements which impact the Rio Grande. Although the Rio Grande is the second longest river in the United States, it no longer flows naturally. The extensive networks of diversions and dams control flows on both the Rio Grande and the Rio Conchos and neither river is currently managed to provide an in-stream flow2 needed to preserve the riverbanks’ natural habitat. Prior to 1998, six years of persistent drought conditions had compounded the rivers’ flow, leading to withered crops, malnutrition among the Tarahumara Indians, and death or early slaughter of livestock (IBWC 1997).

Ironically, the reservoirs in New Mexico were full to the point of overflowing during this period because of high snowfall averages in New Mexico and Colorado (New Mexico Environment Department 2003; hereafter NMED). However, these waters were not available to the communities downstream on the Rio Grande. The Rio Grande Compact Commission, which is a three-state entity representing Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, manages the water flow of the Rio Grande from Colorado to Fort Quitman, Texas, which is just downstream of El Paso. The Commission was established, in 1938, to manage private water rights, which date back to the 1800s, and to apportion the Rio Grande’s flow, including a share to Mexico at El Paso.

The IBWC’s primary purpose is to manage the water of the Rio Grande from Fort Quitman to the Gulf of Mexico. The Water Treaty of February 3, 1944, between Mexico and the United States, was for the “utilization of waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande.” The Treaty also allots all of the water entering the Rio Grande from the tributaries on the United States’ side and one-third of the combined annual flow from the Mexican tributaries (IBWC 1997). Even though the treaty defines a minimum flow based on a five-year average, it does not establish release schedules for the Mexican rivers. The IBWC monitors the 1944 treaty allocations with a system of gauging stations on the Rio Grande and Rio Conchos. Many of these stations have been in operation since 1889, with the Johnson Ranch gauging station in Big Bend National Park having been operational since 1936.

Water Quality

River quality is a complicated issue, but a very important one, because the river is the very source of life in the border region. The river has to meet increasing water demands. Since 1987, the Mexico-United States border region has seen increased development resulting in doubling the region’s population to over six million people. The growth is partially fueled by more than 1,400 maquiladora3 plants in the region. Growth increased opportunities for water quality degradation and toxic chemical contamination. The bi-national Border Environmental Coordinating Committee was established by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to address environmental concerns and the infrastructure needs dealing with adequate water supply and sewage treatment facilities of the communities along the Rio Grande.

In 2003, American Rivers, a principal river conservation, non-profit organization in the United States, ranked the Rio Grande/Rio Conchos system as the most endangered river system in the United States. Their concerns with the Rio Grande included headwaters-mouth degradation, covering the entire length of the river, pollution by mining operations on the river’s northern section, and industrial and municipal wastes along the lower Rio Grande from both sides of the river (Souers and Kelley, 2000).

Since 1987, several studies on the Rio Grande’s water quality have been conducted. Researchers from Memphis State University studied the river water near Rio Grande Village in the Big Bend National Park (Park) in 1987 (Ibid). Even though they found a non-pathogenic amoeba, Vahlkamphia, they did not find the pathogens, Naegleria fowleri or Acanthamoeba culbertsoni.4 This study, however, did not conclusively prove the absence of pathogenic amoebae. Non-detection of these pathogens suggests that there were not sufficient numbers of these pathogens to cause human infection. A fatality in 1994 which occurred in Rio Grande River near Laredo, Texas was linked to amoebic infection associated with swimming in the town water system’s settling pond (Pease, 2000). In 1993, the University of Texas at El Paso studied the water quality of the river between Lajitas and La Linda, Texas. The study sampled ten different sites along the river and back country water sources to obtain a profile of the water’s quality. The study found that most of pollution of the Rio Grande within the park was caused by runoffs contaminated by pollutants picked up as it traveled downstream from non-point pollution sources in the El Paso, Texas region. The researchers detected a high level of fecal coliform bacteria, possibly originating from human, cattle, or other warm-blooded mammals living along the river’s edge. Although these organisms are usually not harmful they may be indicative of the presence of other pathogens (Souers and Kelley, 2000).

In 1992 and 1993, the IBWC conducted studies of the Rio Grande from El Paso to Brownsville (IBWC 1997). The study involved a sampling of 19 mainstream and 26 tributary sites. In Big Bend National Park, researchers studied two tributary sites: the mouth of the Santa Elena Canyon and the Terlingua Creek. They found no presence of pathogenic activity at those sites. However, the study found that in 17 of the 22 sites human health risks may result from constant, long-term consumption of untreated water and fish.

Even though various state and federal agencies periodically monitor the river’s water quality, it is not done frequently enough to give an adequate understanding of the river’s water quality (Souers and Kelley, 2000). The studies provide only a “snapshot” of the river’s water quality. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Texas Watch Program organizes volunteers through regional offices to monitor water quality on a quarterly basis. Big Bend National Park has begun working with the Rio Grande Compact Commission and the IBWC to actively research long-term strategies to ensure minimum flow and treaty compliance.

Water usage along the Rio Grande Corridor

Municipalities along the Upper Rio Grande (map 2) corridor rely on drilling for groundwater for their water supply. They are drilling at unsustainable rates and municipal agencies have increasingly emphasized conservation, re-use of wastewater, and diversion of surface water to municipal and industrial use. (TCEQ, 2003).

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The city of Albuquerque relies on groundwater for its municipal and industrial supply. The city currently uses approximately 165,000 acre-feet per year from the regional aquifer, while the recharge rate for the aquifer is approximately 65,000 acre-feet per year. An acre-foot is equal to 325,000 gallons of water. The city intends to make up the deficit by using its claimed 55,000 acre-feet per year of the San Juan-Chama Diversion water, by reallocating Rio Grande water from agriculture to municipal and industrial use, and by recycling municipal and industrial water for irrigation. The Albuquerque Basin has been named as a “critical basin” by the New Mexico State Engineer’s Office, which means that the basin is faced with rapid economic and population growth and a lack of adequate technical information about its water supply. (NMED, 2003).

El Paso/Juarez Metropolitan Area

The El Paso/Juarez metropolitan area lies downstream from the Elephant Butte Reservoir. Due to their international status the metropolitan area’s water management is guided by the IBWC. Juarez and Las Cruces get all their water from aquifers, while El Paso gets 60% of its water from aquifers. The groundwater resources are two large aquifers, the Hueco and Mesilla Bolsons. However, they have been decreasing and becoming saline at a rapid rate over the past forty years. El Paso has increased its groundwater usage from 95,000 acre-feet in 1981 to 124,000 acre-feet in 1994. Rainwater and river water cannot recharge the aquifers fast enough to keep up with the increase in demand. (Environmental Protection Agency 2001).

Juarez’ current water supply comes from the Hueco Bolson; however, it plans to begin using Mesilla Bolson once a delivery pipeline is completed. Mexico is planning on treating its 60,000 acre-feet Rio Grande allocation for municipal and industrial use and replace irrigators’ water with recycled wastewater. Las Cruces is also considering using Rio Grande surface water to meet its increasing demand. (Ibid.).

The municipalities have developed some innovative ways to minimize their use of groundwater resources, which will preserve the region’s aquifers. These efforts include incentives for citizens to replace their green lawns for indigenous plants that require far less water; recycling effluent water5 to use for landscaping purposes; encouraging the replacement of toilets and showerheads with better water conserving attributes. However, regional population growth will eventually exceed the surface water allocations.

Water Management of the Rio Grande River

Water is essential to life. Human beings as well as wildlife and ecosystems need it for survival. “Among the more threatening of imminent shortages is that of fresh water. While water is the quintessential renewable resource, thanks to the hydrologic cycle, global water consumption has tripled over the last 50years, and it continues to climb (Daly and Farley, 116).” The Rio Grande border region is a prime example of this with its exponential growth and demand for water to drink and irrigate crops. In recent years it has been increasingly difficult to use the waters Rio Grande. Because of climate variability and change, population growth and development, water scarcity and poor water quality are threatening the Rio Grande region. Scarcity and pollution are linked directly to poor water management and no water infrastructure. Improved water management requires not only good engineering, but also science-based analysis, efficient institutions, and co-operation among interested parties. These elements would constitute sustainable water management. Among the complications the bi-national framework for water management adds complexity. The entire Texas-Mexico Border Region suffers from water scarcity. Increased demand and limited supply give rise to an array of conflicting interests: between rural and urban areas, between upstream and downstream users, and between Texas and Mexico.

The Rio Grande is often studied as a single entity, which it is not. The Rio Grande is part of a larger whole, comprising of complex parts. Intense growth spurred by NAFTA along the Rio Grande is threatening the river; the sole source of drinking water for Laredo and many other communities along the river. Throughout the entire length of the Rio Grande water quantity and quality are priorities of local residents. The major challenge that faces the communities of the border region is their inability to build infrastructure to keep pace with rapid growth. Additional problems stemming from this growth are over pumping of water, polluted runoff from municipal and industrial areas, and the dumping of millions of gallons of raw sewage into the river every day from Mexican cities along the Rio Grande River. “[T]he tragedy of the commons reappears in problems of pollution. Here it is not the question of taking something out of the commons, but of putting something in – sewage, or chemicals, radioactive, heat wastes into water;…A rational man finds that his share of the cost of the wastes he discharges into the commons is less than the cost of purifying his wastes before releasing them. Since this is true for everyone, we are locked into a system of ‘fouling our own nest,’ so long as we behave only as independent, rational, free enterprisers (Daley and Townsend, 133).”

NAFTA was supposed to provide the border area with billions of dollars to address air and water pollution. But the projects have been slow and poorly financed. American officials say pollution problems along the border are especially daunting because the solution often lies on the other side, in Mexico. But not all problems originate south of the border. Mexican officials were outraged over Texas’ plans for a low-level radioactive waste dump in Sierra Blanca, a town 80 miles east of the border (Verhovek, 1998). Mexico remains strapped for money, and many elected officials on the American side are urging that the United States to provide more assistance to develop solutions that could help people on both sides of the border. But spending American money on projects like sewage treatment plants in another country is a sticky diplomatic and political issue. “It’s very hard to convince Congress we need money to deal with problems that seem to be in Mexico,” said Doug Farquhar, an expert on environmental health issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures (Ibid.). For that reason, NAFTA provided for a binational agency, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission in Juarez, to certify cleanup projects, and a $450 million commitment from both nations for a bank to finance the work.

Recent studies have shown a marked trend in pollutant levels in the river. Fecal coliform levels have decreased which are indicative of improved wastewater treatment facilities. In 1994, the Mexican and United States Governments completed Phase I of the Binational Study Regarding the Presence of Toxic Substances in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo and its tributaries. In 1997, the EPA funded Phase II of the study, which showed an increase of pollution in the Rio Grande and the TCEQ labeled Laredo as a pollution trouble spot. In addition, Dr. Earhart found that of the “thirty toxic chemicals found to exceed various governmental screening levels between El Paso and Brownsville; nineteen were in the Laredo area (Peterson, 2000).”

Even though study after study has shown high toxic levels in the Rio Grande’s water, sediment and fish inhabitants; the EPA and TCEQ have been slow to act. The EPA’s response to the findings of toxins in fish tissues, in their Toxic Substances Study-Questions and Answers was that “…for now, we can’t really say whether it’s safe to eat the fish in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Laredo/Nuevo Laredo vicinity, but the US Food and Drug Administration does recommend that pregnant women not eat fish more than once a month (Souers and Kelley, 2000).” TCEQ has yet to issue an advisory warning on health risks associated with eating the fish from the Rio Grande. The TCEQ has not toughened regulations regarding warehouses along the Rio Grande’s tributaries, which are a major source of the river’s pollution. It is clear that city officials and state agencies are not going to take any substantial action to improve the conditions of the river. The economic and social costs will fall onto the citizens of the region unless they stand up and force their local governments to take action.

A major problem that compounds the pollution is the Rio Grande’s lack of flow. This lack of flow is caused by retention of water in Mexican reservoirs, droughts, and growth of aquatic weeds that slow or even stops water flow.

Challenges Facing the Future of the Rio Grande

The challenge facing the communities along the Rio Grande corridor is to execute practices which will enable future generations to enjoy its natural resources, while providing current generations’ clean drinking water. This challenge is quite overwhelming considering the current population pressures, the degraded aquatic life, its declining groundwater resources, and the variation in water availability.

There are a variety of factors on both sides of the Rio Grande that jeopardize the water quality of the river. The dangers posed to the Rio Grande are causing local governments to ask for help from a variety of sources, the primary being the federal government. Laredo city officials are asking the federal government to help provide funds to build facilities that will prevent those dangers. Laredo Utilities Director Fernando Roman explained that cities along the river are in danger of their water quality degrading at an increasing rate due to the activities along the river (Ridder-Flynn, 2000). Roman goes on to state that raw sewage in the millions of gallons per day from Mexican cities is increasing pollution, the river is becoming more vulnerable to a hazardous materials disaster in the event of an accident, and there is an increasing possibility that industrial wastes are passing through the wastewater treatment systems on both side of the border. Roman and other city officials are asking the federal government to provide grants for construction of new wastewater treatment plants in the Mexican border cities. Currently there is a binationally funded facility operating in Nuevo Laredo. This $44 million facility treats 24 to 31 million gallons per day of raw sewage produced by Nuevo Laredo. However, approximately seven million gallons per day of raw sewage still enters the river untreated (Ibid.). There are many other Mexican cities developing rapidly that do not have wastewater treatment systems. Roman explains that the development of Nuevo Laredo and other distant cities, such as Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuna, located upstream from Laredo’s raw water intake, have drastic affects on the water quality for communities downstream. Laredo officials are looking into other raw water storage facilities and will be asking the federal government for grants to help fund the construction of such a facility. The off-channel storage facility would be a reserve for use during an environmental disaster. An example of an off-channel storage facility is Lake Casa Blanca which Laredo could use to store but not use Rio Grande water that it buys each year (Ibid.).

A variety of water management programs enacted around the United States can be adapted to use along the Rio Grande. First, water management must not be focused on a single objective; it must include the multiple objectives of the multiple groups in the region. The institutions which control the Rio Grande’s water resources were created when the water supply was under the realm of the engineers with few political participants. Today, the changes in the environmental and administrative law and the political climate demand that all interested parties have a voice on how water in the region is to be managed. In addition, federal and state agencies should be required to hold hearings, prepare environmental reports (these reports are not readily available to the public), and allow the public to participate in the decision making process. Even though there is no agency dealing with the issues of the Rio Grande Basin with legal and regulatory power such as, the Northwest Power Planning Council in the Columbia River Basin, there are new pseudo-governmental organizations, such as the planning consortium created by the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments and the New Mexico-Texas Water Commission that are including public participation in water management.

In addition, the idea of jurisdiction is a major challenge to the pollution control efforts of the Rio Grande region. Laredo biologist, Jim Earhart said that recently tested fish samples had high levels of heavy metals such as mercury in their tissues. He spoke with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Houston and they stated “that levels that high anywhere else would cause them to impound the fish and institute an investigation” but since the river is binational, the USDA has little or no jurisdiction in the matter (Pease, 2000).

Furthermore, sustainability must be a goal of formal institutions as well as the citizens. Water management must be fair to all parties concerned. The rights of Native Americans and impacts of water management on third parties must be incorporated into water management policies. Efficient use of the Rio Grande’s water must be improved. Historically, subsides were given to agricultural and hydropower users as national investment was made in western water. However, today these practices are not an economically efficient use of water. There must be a conscious decision made to transfer water rights to users that are of higher economic value, which in turn provides incentives for water conservation and directs resources to the most valued users. Also, charging users the true cost and value of the water will result in better decision-making practices.

Additional questions that will be faced by the various entities along the Rio Grande include: what agricultural activity is appropriate for the region? Should the government continue water subsides to farmers? What additional opportunities can be created by further efficiencies in agriculture land use? What are the social, environmental, and land use consequences of losing agriculture development along the Rio Grande? How large will the population grow in the region? Should the government create policies to encourage or discourage growth in certain areas? Are citizens making informed living decisions about where they will live? What information is necessary to properly manage water resources in the region? Finally, what are the consequences of demographic, economic, and physical changes in the Rio Grande corridor?

Conclusion

Water is essential to life. Human beings as well as wildlife and ecosystems need it for survival. Because of climate variability and change, population growth and development, water scarcity and poor water quality are threatening the Rio Grande region. Scarcity and pollution are linked directly to poor water management and no water infrastructure. Improved water management requires not only good engineering, but also science-based analysis, efficient institutions, and co-operation among interested parties. These elements would constitute sustainable water management. Among the complications the bi-national framework for water management adds complexity. The entire Texas-Mexico Border Region suffers from water scarcity. Increased demand and limited supply give rise to an array of conflicting interests: between rural and urban areas, between upstream and downstream users, and between Texas and Mexico.

The Rio Grande is often studied as a single entity, which it is not. The Rio Grande is part of a larger whole, comprising of complex parts. Intense growth spurred by NAFTA along the Rio Grande is threatening the river; the sole source of drinking water for Laredo and many other communities along the river. Throughout the entire length of the Rio Grande water quantity and quality are priorities of local residents. The major challenge that faces the communities of the border region is their inability to build infrastructure to keep pace with rapid growth. Additional problems stemming from this growth are over pumping of water, polluted runoff from municipal and industrial areas, and the dumping of millions of gallons of raw sewage into the river every day from Mexican cities along the Rio Grande River.

NAFTA was supposed to provide the border area with billions of dollars to address air and water pollution. But the projects have been slow and poorly financed. American officials say pollution problems along the border are especially daunting because the solution often lies on the other side, in Mexico. But not all problems originate south of the border. Mexican officials were outraged over Texas’ plans for a low-level radioactive waste dump in Sierra Blanca, a town 80 miles east of the border (Verhovek, 1998). Mexico remains strapped for money, and many elected officials on the American side are urging that the United States to provide more assistance to develop solutions that could help people on both sides of the border. But spending American money on projects like sewage treatment plants in another country is a sticky diplomatic and political issue. “It’s very hard to convince Congress we need money to deal with problems that seem to be in Mexico,” said Doug Farquhar, an expert on environmental health issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures (Ibid.). For that reason, NAFTA provided for a binational agency, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission in Juarez, to certify cleanup projects, and a $450 million commitment from both nations for a bank to finance the work.

Recent studies have shown a marked trend in pollutant levels in the river. Fecal coliform levels have decreased which are indicative of improved wastewater treatment facilities. In 1994, the Mexican and United States Governments completed Phase I of the Binational Study Regarding the Presence of Toxic Substances in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo and its tributaries. In 1997, the EPA funded Phase II of the study, which showed an increase of pollution in the Rio Grande and the TCEQ labeled Laredo as a pollution trouble spot. In addition, Dr. Earhart found that of the “thirty toxic chemicals found to exceed various governmental screening levels between El Paso and Brownsville; nineteen were in the Laredo area (Peterson, 2000).”

Even though study after study has shown high toxic levels in the Rio Grande’s water, sediment and fish inhabitants; the EPA and TCEQ have been slow to act. The EPA’s response to the findings of toxins in fish tissues, in their Toxic Substances Study-Questions and Answers was that “…for now, we can’t really say whether it’s safe to eat the fish in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Laredo/Nuevo Laredo vicinity, but the US Food and Drug Administration does recommend that pregnant women not eat fish more than once a month (Souers and Kelley, 2000).” TCEQ has yet to issue an advisory warning on health risks associated with eating the fish from the Rio Grande. The TCEQ has not toughened regulations regarding warehouses along the Rio Grande’s tributaries, which are a major source of the river’s pollution. It is clear that city officials and state agencies are not going to take any substantial action to improve the conditions of the river. The economic and social costs will fall onto the citizens of the region unless they stand up and force their local governments to take action.

A major problem that compounds the pollution is the Rio Grande’s lack of flow. This lack of flow is caused by retention of water in Mexican reservoirs, droughts, and growth of aquatic weeds that slow or even stops water flow.

In addition to the Rio Grande’s political role as an international boundary, the river has many cultural and economic impacts. People settled in the area to take advantage of its life-sustaining waters; now the population boom is threatening those very waters. Families have members on both sides of the Rio Grande and many speak both Spanish and English. Just as nature does not recognize political boundaries; pollution has the same disregard for political boundaries. All stakeholders in the region must be involved in policy making decisions regarding the Rio Grande. The federal government must intervene on behalf of its citizens along the Rio Grande to ensure that they will now, and in the future, receive clean drinking water.

Local governments can have a positive impact on the Rio Grande; one such example is a new city ordinance enacted by Laredo. The ordinance bans dumping dirt, used motor oil, used pesticides, and batteries into storm drains or any other bodies of water throughout the city (Mertz, 2003). This ordinance is required by the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System in order to preserve the Rio Grande.

Even though the Rio Grande poses dangers to humans; one can see people swimming, bathing, and collecting drinking water in the Rio Grande River. Illegal immigrants face all types of challenges along their journey to the United States; however their biggest challenge is crossing the Rio Grande without getting infected by the various toxic substances present in the water. How can the various governments involved with the Rio Grande, allow such a precious natural resource to be abused and polluted when it is such a life sustaining resource? The region is a unique blend of mountain, desert and Gulf Coast terrain. Although the Chihuahua Desert dominates the landscape along the Rio Grande corridor, the stretches of flora and fauna that survive along the river’s edge are a testimony to the Rio Grande’s role in the region. The regional governments can no longer bury their heads in the sand and ignore the pollution problems of the Rio Grande. The United States must work with Mexico to clean and protect the Rio Grande.

Appendix


Map 1


www.msn.com/encarta/texas


Table 1: Population Trends in the Border Region

 

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

1920-1990 Average Annual Growth




Twin Cities


































Matamoros, Tamaulipas

9,215

9,733

15,699

45,846

92,627

137,749

188,703

266,055

4.9%







Brownsville, Texas

11,791

22,021

22,083

36,066

48,040

52,522

84,997

98,962

3.1







Reynosa, Tamaulipas

2,107

4,840

9,412

34,087

74,140

137,383

194,657

265,663

7.2







McAllen, Texas

5,331

9,074

11,887

20,067

32,728

37,636

66,281

84,021

4.0







Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas

14,998

21,636

28,872

57,668

92,327

148,867

201,690

218,413

3.9







Laredo, Texas

22,710

32,618

39,274

51,510

60,678

69,024

91,449

122,899

2.4







Piedras Negras, Coahuila

6,941

15,878

15,663

27,581

44,992

41,033

67,444

96,178

3.8







Eagle Pass, Texas

5,765

5,059

64,459

7,167

12,094

15,364

21,407

20,651

1.8







Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua

19,457

19,669

48,881

112,467

262,119

407,370

544,498

789,522

5.4







El Paso, Texas

77,560

102,421

96,810

130,485

276,687

322,261

425,259

515,342

2.7




Mexican States


































Tamaulipas

287,000

344,000

459,000

718,000

1,024,000

1,457,000

1,925,000

2,448,000

3.1%







Chihuahua

402,000

492,000

624,000

846,000

1,227,000

1,613,000

1,936,000

2,336,000

2.5







Coahuila

393,000

436,000

551,000

721,000

908,000

1,115,000

1,561,000

2,030,000

2.4







Nuevo Leon

336,000

417,000

541,000

740,000

1,079,000

1,695,000

2,464,000

2,476,000

2.9







4 Mexican States

1,418,000

1,689,000

2,175,000

3,025,000

4,238,000

5,880,000

7,886,000

9,290,000

2.7




Mexico

14,335,000

16,553,000

19,654,000

25,791,000

34,923,000

48,225,000

67,406,000

88,400,000

2.6%




Texas

4,663,000

5,825,000

6,415,000

7,711,000

9,580,000

11,199,000

14,170,000

16,479,000

1.8%







Austin

34,876

53,120

87,930

132,459

186,545

253,539

345,496

465,577

3.8







Dallas

158,976

260,475

294,734

434,462

679,684

884,401

904,078

1,006,831

2.7







Fort Worth

106,482

163,447

177,622

278,778

356,268

393,455

385,164

447,619

2.1







Houston

138,276

292,352

384,514

596,163

938,210

1,233,535

1,595,138

1,630,672

3.6







San Antonio

161,379

231,542

253,854

408,442

587,718

654,153

785,880

935,927

2.5







5 Border Cities

123,157

171,193

234,513

245,295

430,227

496,807

689,393

841,875

2.8







Rest of State

3,939,854

4,652,871

4,981,833

5,615,401

6,401,348

7,323,110

9,464,851

11,150,499

1.5




U.S.

106,021,000

123,203,000

132,165,000

151,326,000

179,323,000

203,306,000

226,505,000

248,249,000

1.2%







Bibliography
Candence Mertz, “Waste Run-off law expected soon,” Laredo Morning Times, 11 May 2003.
Daly, Herman E. and Joshua Farley. 2004. Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications. Island Press.
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1 See map 1 in appendix

2 Regular river water flow

3 Maquiladora is a manufacturing plant along the US-Mexican border in Mexico

4 Pathogens are disease causing organisms

5 effluent water is waste water generated by the citizens



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