Gov. Rick Perry has formally requested President Barack Obama intervene in the water dispute between the United States and Mexico.
Perry on Tuesday sent a letter to Obama stating that without direction from the White House and the State Department, Texans along the Rio Grande will continue to suffer because of Mexico’s refusal to abide by the 1944 water treaty.
“Without the federal government’s intervention, some Texas communities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley could be facing critical water shortages within 60 days,” Perry writes. He urges both Obama and the State Department immediately work with Mexico to ensure it lives up to the terms of the treaty.
Perry states that although the International Boundary and Water Commission, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and his office have been working on the water issue since last fall, “the state of Texas is not receiving the support from your administration that is needed to obtain our water from Mexico.”
Under the treaty, Mexico is to deliver water to the U.S. in cycles of five years. The current five-year cycle began in October 2010 and ends in October 2015.
The total volume Mexico must deliver over the five year period is 1,750,000 acre-feet — providing there are no exceptional drought conditions in Mexico, officials said. As of March 16, 2013, Mexico had delivered 405,568 acre-feet.
The treaty states Mexico is to provide a minimum average of 350,000 acre-feet of water annually to the Rio Grande for use by the U.S. Perry’s letter states, Mexico is currently in default by 400,000 acre-feet.
Federal, state, county and local leaders said the water is needed now due to the ongoing drought in Texas.