Document Type

Article

Publication Year

2020

Journal Title

Water Resources Research

ISSN

1944-7973

DOI

10.1029/2019WR026068

Abstract

Over the last decade, transboundary aquifers traversing the Mexico‐Texas border have generated growing interest of federal institutions on the Mexico side and state and federal institutions on the Texas side. Notwithstanding this, binational efforts to understand, assess, and manage shared groundwater resources remain limited and politically sensitive. On the Mexico side, long‐standing centralized groundwater governance structures have created institutional barriers at the local level to the expansion of knowledge and cooperation over these transboundary resources. On the Texas side, property rights related to groundwater resources limit the scope of options available for cooperative management of cross‐border aquifers. This paper examines stakeholders' perspectives on the borderland between Mexico and Texas through 44 surveys and personal interviews. Findings show that stakeholders appear to support a binational groundwater agreement as a means for assuring the sound long‐term management of transboundary groundwater resources in the border region; however, the majority of stakeholders also suggest that short‐term local or regional arrangements may be preferable over binational agreements as local/regional approaches may be more achievable or realistic. Second, participants identified leadership and individual personalities as key factors for success at the local level but noted that such influence had limited sustainability and limited regional‐systemic effects. Third, the stakeholders indicated that water quality, rather than water quantity, is the main driver of transboundary cooperation efforts in the region. Fourth, participants suggested that failures and successes in groundwater cooperation efforts are based more on fear and political lobbying than on understanding of scientific facts.

First Page

1

Last Page

20

Num Pages

20

Volume Number

56

Issue Number

3

Publisher

AGU Publishing

FIle Type

PDF

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