Udall Center Scholars Contribute to Important White Paper on U.S.-Mexico Border Water

Feb. 8, 2022
Logo for the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC)
White Paper cover

Last summer Maria-Elena Giner was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as the United States Commissioner of the binational (U.S.-Mexico) International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC). Commissioner Giner, who recently completed her PhD at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, is the second woman and first Latina to hold the post. 

Given her career-long focus on U.S.-Mexico cooperation on water, energy, and climate change, Commissioner Giner invited a group of U.S.-Mexico border scholars to develop a white paper to help inform her on directions she can take at the IBWC. In response, a dozen academics at universities in the four U.S. border states and Colorado, led by Profs. Irasema Coronado and Francisco Lara-Valencia of Arizona State University and Stephen Mumme of Colorado State University, prepared a document for the Commissioner. Two of the coauthors are Robert Varady and Adriana Zuniga of the Udall Center, with Sharon Megdal a third University of Arizona coauthor. 

The document draws on the authors’ individual and collective experiences in binational water resource management issues. The 19-page white paper offers insights and actionable ideas to help the IBWC meet its charge. 

On receiving the paper, Commissioner Giner wrote, “I am so pleased to receive this. After working on my PhD I learned about the many valuable studies that were done by academia on the topic of water and the U.S. Mexico border. As a practitioner, I also realized how underutilized all this knowledge generation was and the possibilities for pairing research with some of our mission-critical work. I look forward to our meeting on February 23 and identifying opportunities for collaboration.” 

Coronado, I., F. Lara-Valencia, S. Mumme (lead authors); and C. Brown, P. Ganster, H. García, D. Lybecker, S. Megdal, R. Sanchez, A. Sweedler, R. G. Varady, and A. Zuniga (contributing authors). 2022. Water Management on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Achieving Water Sustainability and Resilience Through Cross-Border Cooperation. White Paper submitted to the U.S. Commissioner, United States International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC). 19 pp. 4 Feb.