Daniel Collins at Crikey Creek has a great suggestion for folks in the water blogging community:
In the spirit of World Water Day, and in an effort to contribute towards transboundary cooperation, I propose that all us waterbloggers (and other bloggers too!) dedicate one or more of our posts that day or beforehand specifically to transboundary water issues.
World Water Day is March 22, and in the spirit of Daniel’s suggestion, and time permitting, I’m going to try to devote a bit of time over the next couple of weeks to his suggestion. This is a useful exercise in part because here in New Mexico we face a number of important transboundary water challenges, some of which I’ve not thought about closely because of the somewhat arbitrary nature of our political boundaries and the water law that goes with them.
A list of transboundary issues here to get my thinking unclogged:
- Whither the Colorado River Compact and its encrusted legal barnacles, a body of law that is clearly unsuited to 21st century problems. The transboundary issues here exist at a number of scales – states, nations (US/Mexico), basins (out-of-basin transfers, upper-lower basin transfer).
- Ditto the Rio Grande Compact, which faces similar issues.
- Transboundary groundwater basin issues at the U.S.-Mexico border.
- The Ogallala Aquifer, where groundwater pumping across a variety of political jurisdictions poses problems.
- More subtly, we face a host of interesting issues within the Middle Rio Grande involving use and transfer of water among and across local government jurisdictional boundaries. While not “transboundary” in the tradiational sense, the problems therein share a great deal of similarity with more traditional transboundary issues.
- The Bellagio Treaty, an effort to come up with a model treaty for dealing with trandboundary water issues. This is one of those interesting things that I’ve long wanted to learn more about. Now’s my chance.