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Water War

Bisbee Gal

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The La Boquilla Dam, which was seized from the government by local farmers amid a water dispute with the United States, near Delicias, Chihuahua, Mexico.

‘This Is a War’: Cross-Border Fight Over Water Erupts in Mexico

Farmers in Mexico ambushed soldiers and seized a dam to stop water payments to the United States, in a sign of growing conflict over increasingly scarce resources.

"BOQUILLA, Mexico — The farmers armed themselves with sticks, rocks and homemade shields, ambushed hundreds of soldiers guarding a dam and seized control of one of the border region’s most important bodies of water.

The Mexican government was sending water — their water — to Texas, leaving them next to nothing for their thirsty crops, the farmers said. So they took over the dam and have refused to allow any of the water to flow to the United States for more than a month.

“This is a war,” said Victor Velderrain, a grower who helped lead the takeover, “to survive, to continue working, to feed my family.”

The standoff is the culmination of longstanding tensions over water between the United States and Mexico that have recently exploded into violence, pitting Mexican farmers against their own president and the global superpower next door.

Negotiating the exchange of water between the two countries has long been strained, but rising temperatures and long droughts have made the shared rivers along the border more valuable than ever, intensifying the stakes for both nations.

The dam’s takeover is a stark example of how far people are willing to go to defend livelihoods threatened by climate change — and of the kind of conflict that may become more common with increasingly extreme weather."

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The U.S. sends much more water to Mexico than vice versa.  Climate change has nothing to do with it.  Droughts are endemic to the American SW and northern Mexico and among other things caused the predecessors to the Aztecs to move south and the cliff dwellers of Mexico to move down to the few water sources that remained running during said droughts.  

As that area appears to be entering another drought this conflict is going to escalate.  Bear in mind because considerably more water is provided to Mexico than vice versa the withholding of the latter is a no win game for Mexico.

We noticed once we drove north of Torreon on a recent trip the lack of seasonal rainfall was quite obvious.


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For a better clearer understanding of the problem, read this recent Aljazeera article, it does a better job of explaining things than Bisbee Gal's article.  https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/8/mexico-water-crisis-heats-up-as-us-transfer-deadline-looms           Apparently the US sends 4 times as much water across the border to Mexico from the US than what Mexico sends North.  The main problem is the corruption in CONAGUA and how they squander away the water and don't share it equally with the local farmers in México.  They deserve so much better.

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