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In midst of Texas drought, Mexico owes the US water

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Border Patrol officers meet near a border fence and security camera tower near the U.S.-Mexico border on May 21, 2013 near Harlingen, Texas. The area, popular with tourists as well as wildlife, is also attractive to drug smugglers bringing their product north from Mexico into the United States.
John Moore/Getty Images
Border Patrol officers meet near a border fence and security camera tower near the U.S.-Mexico border on May 21, 2013 near Harlingen, Texas. Mexico and Texas have an agreement to share water but Mexico is behind on its share.

A treaty between the U.S. and Mexico stipulates that the bordering areas share water with each other, but Mexico is not paying up and Texas is upset.

Texas, like other areas of the United States, is suffering from a drought.

But to add insult to injury, Mexico owes the area water as part of a 1945 treaty agreement between the U.S. and Mexico and is significantly behind on its payments.

Mexico currently owes the United States 380,000 acre-feet of water, more than all the water consumed in a year by the 1.5 million Texas residents living in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, the Washington Post reported.

A Texas A&M study cited by the Washington Post estimated that Mexico’s failure to share water was causing a loss of nearly 5,000 jobs and $229 million in revenues from crops such as cotton, corn, sorghum and citrus fruits.

But Mexico claims its own water shortage is preventing it from sharing its supply.

For more on the treaty agreement and what the current situation means for the U.S. and Mexico, Mexico correspondent for the Washington Post Joshua Partlow explains.

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