The 1944 Water Treaty authorizes the IBWC to develop rules and adopt decisions, known as protocols, on issues related to the implementation and interpretation of the treaty.24 25 If neither country announces its refusal within 30 days, the minute will be deemed accepted.26 If one of the two governments disapproves, the matter will be withdrawn from the control of the IBWC and both governments negotiate the issue.27 If the two governments reach an agreement, the IBWC will have to take further measures “necessary for the implementation of such an agreement”. 28 The U.S. State Department is the U.S. agency that responds to proposed protocols and negotiates resolutions29 Due to the drop in water levels in an aquifer, surface water currents may decrease. For example, the Hueco Bolson aquifer was historically primarily heavily charged by precipitation and the aquifer contributed to the Rio Grande River (i.e., the Rio Grande extracted water from the aquifer). However, as the level of the aquifer decreased due to pumping rates above load rates, river aquifer flows reversed. The Rio Grande began to recharge the aquifer, resulting in a decrease in surface water flows; that is, the river became a lost stream within range of the Hueco Bolson when surface water entered the Hueco Bolson aquifer. Dams built over the past century along the Colorado – Hoover Dam, Glen Canyon Dam and others — have diverted so much water for a long time that the river rarely touches the sea. The Colorado River Delta has become a dusty desert. Binational aquifers are cross-border water resources that can be particularly important in meeting dry times needs. In some parts of the border, binational aquifers are important sources of water for higher populations. For example, the Hueco Bolson aquifer provides water to the 1.5 million inhabitants of Ciudad Jusrez and 40% of the 730,000 inhabitants of El Paso, TX.
Over the past century, many border aquifers have declined in volume and/or quality. There is no comprehensive bilateral agreement on groundwater management and use at the Mexico-Mexico border.161 protocols adopted under the 1944 Water Treaty 30 addressed a number of issues, including the operation and maintenance of cross-border sanitation facilities,31 water extraction during droughts,32 dam construction,33 and water lasalinity issues.34 IBWC is also responsible for certain issues relating to binational border treaties, protocol addresses boundary issues.35 The 1944 Water Treaty authorizes the executive to approve protocols, However, in approving the 1944 Water Treaty, the Senate provided that the IBWC and the Secretary of State could not compel the United States to build plants in the United States.