According to a two-week-old story out of the San Diego Union-Tribune that appeared in Tuesday’s Las Vegas newspaper, negotiators are racing to cut a deal between the U.S. and Mexico on how to divvy up the dwindling supply of Colorado River water before that mean old Donald Trump takes office and appoints a bunch of mean old bureaucrats who might put America’s interests first. “Because many of the key players at the federal level are expected to leave office next month, there is rising uncertainty over how much support for such an agreement can be expected under future Trump appointees,” the story relates. “Beyond that, some are fearful that the collaboration between the United States and Mexico on the issue could be tainted by the politically heated rhetoric that the new administration has brought to other bilateral issues with Mexico such as trade and immigration.”
In 2012, despite a drought that was and is parching the Southwest, the U.S. penned an agreement with Mexico that was aimed at releasing water across the border to restore the Colorado River Delta, basically a marshland in Mexico that had largely dried up due to urban and agricultural uses of the water.
The current Obama administration negotiators seem head bent to hash out a deal that makes the U.S. look magnanimous rather that deal that is in the best interest of users of the Colorado River in the seven states it feeds.
People seem to forget that a study of tree rings along the banks of the Colorado River by researchers from the University of Arizona found that the 20th century was the wettest of any century going back to the 4th century B.C. So, this may not be a drought at all, but the return to normal, and every drop will be dear.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have negotiators who put the interests of their own constituents first?
Maybe I could order some red caps with white lettering on the front: “Quench America’s Thirst First.”