What Lies Beneath: Determining the Necessity of International Groundwater Policy Along the United States – Mexico Border and a Roadmap to an Agreement

35 Texas Tech Law Review 1211 (2004).

48 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2017

See all articles by Amy Hardberger

Amy Hardberger

St. Mary's University School of Law

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

The United States and Mexico share water in many aquifers along the border. Although significant attention has been given to international surface water, little to no policy has been generated regarding shared groundwater. Groundwater is a resource of growing importance because surface water resources are quickly being depleted.

While there are almost no international agreements for groundwater, guidance documents suggest what should be included. Increased dependence on groundwater by both sides of the border creates the potential for conflict because the only legal framework for water allocation involves surface water. The US and Mexico must shift from passive to active policy decision-making. Once this shift in thinking occurs, regional groundwater agreements can be created using a community-based approach to protect the survival of affected communities. Agreements must include cooperation, data sharing, equitable utilization, the interrelationship of groundwater and surface water, and enforcement mechanisms.

Keywords: International Boundary and Water Commission, International Law Association, ILA, Bellagio Draft Treaty, Franco-Swiss Genevese Aquifer Agreement, Minute 242, La Paz Agreement, Mexican ground water law, water law, Nebraska v. Wyoming, state water law, Helsinki Rules, water allocation, water policy, gr

JEL Classification: K19

Suggested Citation

Hardberger, Amy, What Lies Beneath: Determining the Necessity of International Groundwater Policy Along the United States – Mexico Border and a Roadmap to an Agreement (2004). 35 Texas Tech Law Review 1211 (2004).. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1874045 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1874045

Amy Hardberger (Contact Author)

St. Mary's University School of Law ( email )

One Carmino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX 78228
United States

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