Desalination promotion part of Colorado river agreement

Mexico and the USA agreed to promote cooperation on desalination technology through the construction of more competitive desalination plants as part of an agreement on the use of the Colorado river signed on 20 December 2010.

Signatories to the agreement were the head of the Mexican Ministries of Environment and Resources Natural Resources, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, and the US secretary of the interior, Ken Salazar, as well as the director general of Mexico’s National Water Commission, José Luis Luege Tamargo, and representatives of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), Roberto Salmon (Mexico) and Edward Drussina (US).

The cooperation aims to improve schemes to cope with drought and shortages, plan the use and rational and comprehensive management of long-term water, and reduce pressure on groundwater.

Order 318 deals bilaterally with approximately 320 million m³ of water for 28,000 ha of three modules of Irrigation District 014 in Mexicali, parts of which were destroyed during the earthquake last April, affecting 640 km of canals located in a total of 60,000 ha of irrigation.

Groups working on new supply sources since 2007 have identified sites to build desalination plants in Rosarito, Baja California, and Puerto Penasco, Sonora. In addition, the IBWC has signed orders 316 and 317 for pilot plant operation of the Yuma desalination plant, which began in April 2010.