Defining the Geopolitics of a Thirsty WorldSM
The Trump Effect on U.S.-Mexico Water Talks

Via Politico, commentary on president-elect Donald Trump’s potential impact on a new water-sharing deal over the dwindling supplies from the Colorado River:

Negotiators who’ve worked for years are pressing to finish a new water-sharing deal over the dwindling supplies from the Colorado River before president-elect Donald Trump takes office Jan. 20 — or put at risk years of fruitful collaboration on the sharing of cross-border water supplies that are vital to both countries, Pro’s Annie Snider reports. The current agreement expires at the end of 2017, and the pressure is rising ahead of potential supply cuts that could kick in in 2018 along the river that provides the lifeblood of much of the American southwest, feeding desert metropolises including Phoenix, San Diego and Las Vegas, and supplying farmers who grow 15 percent of the nation’s food.

The Trump wild card: The fears are not only that Trump — who has called Mexicans rapists and criminals and vowed to erect a massive border wall — could tear up any potential deal, but that even turning the talks over to new negotiators would stall the process, since it would take them months to get up to speed. “There’s pressure to finish off any type of arrangement that you start with one administration,” said Carlos de la Parra, a Mexican water analyst who advised his country’s lead negotiator on the previous water sharing deal. “Now there’s this surprise, and there’s a president-elect Trump, and obviously that becomes a little more acute given his discourse.”

Trump hasn’t spoken about the Colorado River’s issues and his transition team did not respond to a request for comment. U.S. negotiators right now are focusing on the technical matters of a crafting a water-sharing deal and hoping to keep politics out of the talks. But keeping calm heads is only getting harder as flows on the river continue to dwindle and getting a deal done before his inauguration will be a heavy lift.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 at 1:52 am and is filed under Colorado River, Mexico, United States.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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