YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Study on water shortages shows huge impact to Valley agriculture
By Gary Joiner
Agriculture in the Lower Rio Grande Valley desperately needs water.
A new study estimates what those economic losses could be if there is no irrigation water for crops this year.
The estimated impact is more than $993 million and a loss of more than 8,000 jobs.
According to the Texas A&M report, Mexico’s failure to deliver water to the U.S. under the 1944 Water Treaty has made a large impact. The current Mexican water deficit is the second largest in the last three decades.
This is not just a farmer problem. South Texas needs the water to produce crops but also to ensure water is available for residential use.
Citrus orchards are hit extremely hard by the water shortages. The report also estimates losses of $98.5 million of sugarcane and $108.5 million in losses for sugarcane production.
Mexico is obligated to deliver an average of 350,000 acre-feet annually over the defined five-year cycles outlined in the Water Treaty.
Currently, Mexico owes more than 736,000 acre-feet of water.
The United States must do more to ensure Mexico honors the terms of the treaty.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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