Senate Research Center   S.C.R. 35
By: Truan
International Relations, Trade & Technology
As Filed


Environmental conditions on both sides of the border affect both Texas and
Mexico directly. Untreated sewage flowing into the Rio Grande River drives
up the cost of water treatment.  Air pollution from Juarez forces El Paso
into air quality nonattainment status with health consequences for Texans
and constraints on business and commerce.  Hazardous waste produced in
Mexico contaminates the river and enters the shared air shed as dust and
fugitive emissions.  Solid waste washes into the Rio Grande and the Gulf
of Mexico to contaminate the tourist beaches as far north as Mustang

Little of the water in the Texas segment of the river comes from either
Texas or the United States, and the majority of the river's's watershed
lies in deserts with less than eight inches of rainfall per year.  The
current drought affecting the lower Rio Grande is a glaring example of the
region's resource limitations.  Irrigated agriculture on both sides of the
border has been hurt as a result of the drought, forcing both long- and
short-term readjustments in water use and public investment.   

The Rio Grande/Rio Conchos basin is shared by two nations, eight states,
and 19 Pueblos and Tribes. The watershed of the Rio Grande and its
tributaries covers 335,500 square miles, twice the size of California.
The Rio Grande-Rio Bravo Alliance, an initiative of the Texas Natural
Resource Conservation Commission, is an attempt to bring some order to the
border regulatory environment. It includes participants from a number of
border region states, both federal governments, as well as border region
councils of government. 

This legislation would provide legislative support and encouragement to
this effort.  


As proposed, S.C.R. 35 submits the following resolutions:

To urge the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, the Texas
Water Development Board, and other state agencies to work with the
Congress of the United States and federal agencies to develop a structure
for binational, comprehensive, basin-wide management of the Rio Grande;

To provide that the secretary of state forward official copies of this
resolution to the executive directors of the Texas Natural Resource
Conservation Commission and the Texas Water Development Board and to all
members of the Texas delegation to the United States Congress.