International Water Quality Management in the Lower Rio Grande/Rio Bravo, PRP 177

Date

2013

Authors

Eaton, David J.

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LBJ School of Public Affairs

Abstract

During the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 academic years, 42 students participated in the Lower Rio Grande Water Quality Initiative, a Policy Research Project working with Mexican, Texas, U.S., and bilateral institutions to identify options for improving the water quality within segments 2301 and 2302 in the Rio Grande/Río Bravo that define the Texas/Mexico border below the Falcon Reservoir. The river appears on many “worst U.S. river” lists because the water quality in some segments does not meet Mexican, Texas, or U.S. ambient water quality criteria, in part because it is one of the most over-appropriated rivers in the U.S. As the Rio Grande/Río Bravo is a border river, neither the U.S./Texas alone nor Mexico alone can control water quality. Student participants conducted research on regional water quality uses and what can be done to improve water quality, conducted interviews among stakeholders, surveyed water users and river basin residents, and recorded video of stakeholders’ views and water infrastructure in the region. This report documents water users’ perceptions of river water quality and their preferences to improve water quality to enable the river to return to its role as a regional resource for fishing, swimming, and other recreation, as well as continue to be a source for domestic drinking water, irrigation, commercial water use, and industrial development.

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