Office of House Bill AnalysisH.C.R. 88
By: Oliveira
Natural Resources


In 1944, a treaty was signed by the United States and Mexico that governs
the management of water in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo from Fort Quitman to
the Gulf of Mexico.  The International Boundary and Water Commission
(commission), also known as the Comisi_n Internacional de L_mites y Agua in
Mexico, is charged with the administration of the 1944 treaty.  Article 4
of the treaty allocates the water shared by the two countries such that
one-third of the flow reaching the main channel of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo
from six Mexican tributary basins, or a minimum from those basins of not
less than annual 350,000 acrefeet averaged over a cycle of five consecutive
years, is allocated to the United States.  A five-year accounting period
begins whenever the Amistad and Falcon reservoirs are at capacity.  In the
event of an extraordinary drought, any deficit existing at the end of the
five years shall be repaid from water of the tributaries over an ensuing
period of another five years, or until the reservoirs refill and the debt
is nullified.  
An accounting cycle began in October 1992, when the Amistad and Falcon
reservoirs last reached capacity, and over the next half decade, when
minimum deliveries under the treaty should have totaled 1,750,000 acre-feet
for the five years, actual deliveries were only 726,000 acre-feet,
rendering a deficit of 1,024,000 acre-feet, which has grown to 1,409,000
acre-feet over the last three years..  With a serious drought affecting
Texas, it is imperative that the existing water debt from Mexico be repaid.
House Concurrent Resolution 88 requests the commission to assure that
Mexico meet its Article 4 delivery obligations under the 1944 treaty. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this resolution
does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Concurrent Resolution 88 provides that the state legislature request
the International Boundary and Water Commission (commission) to assure that
Mexico meet its Article 4 delivery obligations under the 1944 treaty
governing the sharing of waters from the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo basin.  The
resolution also provides that the Texas secretary of state forward a copy
of this resolution to the United States and Mexican sections of the
commission, the Texas Water Development Board, the Region M water planning
group, and to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission to the
attention of the Texas watermaster for this state's lower Rio Grande water