The All-American Canal Lining Dispute: An American Resolution over Mexican Groundwater Rights?

Alfonso A. Cortez Lara, Megan K. Donovan, Scott Whiteford

Idioma original

Resumen

Abstract

Recently, resistance to the All-American Canal Lining Project came from both sides of the border as a coalition of economic and environmental groups which used the United States legal
system in an attempt to block the loss of water upon which a fragile ecosystem and Mexican farmers depend. Ultimately, the
Lining Project was given official sanction by the US Congress following only superficial consultation with Mexico. This article examines and contrasts the legal framework within which the decision was made with popular understandings and explanations of the process as held by the Mexicali Valley’s water managers. With important implications for future compensation claims and cross-border dispute resolution, it concludes that the decision to litigate in US courts did not formally include a key group, the agricultural water users of the Mexicali Valley. Nevertheless, the decision about the management of what had been understood by many, on both sides of the border, as a binational resource was made by the United States.

Resumen

La oposición por parte de grupos del sector económico y ambiental de ambos lados de la frontera al proyecto estadounidense de revestimiento del Canal Todo Americano se hace manifiesta a través del uso del sistema legal de Estados Unidos en el intento de bloquear el proyecto que afecta el entorno natural y a los usuarios agrícolas en el lado mexicano. Finalmente, el proyecto fue aprobado por el Congreso estadounidense después de una consulta superficial con México.
Este artículo examina y contrasta el marco legal en el cual la decisión fue tomada y también analiza el entendimiento y la explicación social del proceso desde la perspectiva de cuerpos gerenciales de los usuarios agrícolas del Valle de Mexicali. Con importantes implicaciones para futuros reclamos de compensación y resolución de conflictos transfronterizos, este trabajo concluye que la decisión de litigar en cortes estadounidenses no incluyó formalmente a un grupo clave de usuarios, los agricultores del Valle de Mexicali. Sin embargo, la decisión sobre lo que se entiende como manejo binacional de recursos hídricos, fue hecha sólo por Estados Unidos.

Keywords: Transboundary water conflicts;All-American Canal Lining Project;litigation process;agricultural water users;Mexicali Valley


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Idioma original


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