The Colorado River as an Economic Engine for Cali-Baja

On May 30th, the Chamber hosted a Cross-Border Business Forum focusing on the importance of the Colorado River to the border region and the efforts in the U.S. and Mexico to maximize water reliability and prepare for climate change impacts. A panel of experts answered key questions such as current and future conservation measures to ensure a steady water supply.

This binational region has a combined economy of $1 trillion that continues to grow and prosper, in great part thanks to its access to water. The Mexican Water Treaty of 1944 enforced the reduction of water deliveries during a shortage and the increase during wet periods allowing Mexico and the U.S. to benefit from each other. Additionally, minute 323 provided certainty to binational collaboration by extending the treaty until 2026. Panelists discussed the challenge and need for the agreement to represent a win-win for both countries.

Furthermore, the Quantification Settlement Agreement enabled California to implement major Colorado River water conservation transfer programs, stabilizing water supplies for 75 years and reducing the state’s water demand and impact on the river to its 4.4 million acre-foot entitlement. Benefits include reducing California’s overdependence on the Colorado River, Salton Sea Restoration, and water supply.

The Chamber’s next Cross-Border Business Forum will take place August 16th, at Club de Empresarios in Tijuana.