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The Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and El Colegio de Sonora hosted the workshop, “Binational Water Relations at 75 Years,” held October 15-16, 2018 at the University of Arizona. In attendance were the U.S. and Mexican commissioners of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), referred to as the Comisión Internacional de Límites y Aguas (CILA) in Spanish; Prof. Stephen Mumme (who presented the keynote address); Ambassador Alberto Székely; the Mexican Consul in Tucson; as well as University of Arizona leadership, researchers, students, governmental and civil-society participants from both sides of the border.
The workshop commemorated the 75th anniversary of the U.S.-Mexico Water Treaty of 1944, the 25th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the 35th anniversary of the La Paz Agreement -- three of most influential environmental policy agreements between the U.S. and Mexico. Two day of discussions and interactions provided participants an appreciation of the special nature of these agreements in strengthening binational relations on water and the environment.The group also planned follow-on publications during a half-day write-shop.
Participants and the general public were excited to hear from keynote speaker, Prof. Stephen Mumme of Colorado State University, who spoke on the “quasi-constitutional” and yet eminently flexible nature of the Treaty of 1944 as a durable instrument in Mexico-U.S. water management. The workshop participants were also privileged to get an inside view on Mexico-U.S. water diplomacy from Alberto Székely, former Mexican Ambassador and chief negotiator of the La Paz Agreement. Commissioners Roberto Salmón (CILA) and José Núñez (IBWC) spoke on the significance of the long-standing commission that was born out of the 1944 Treaty. The workshop reviewed the history of binational water management between the two countries, the impact it has had, and assessed the present and future collaboration on environmental policy between Mexico and the U.S.
If you would like more information on the Binational Water Relations Workshop, please visit the website.