After weeks of negotiation, Mexico has finally agreed to release water from some of its reservoirs to help south Texas in its drought condition, but it's only a drop in the bucket.
The International Boundary and Water Commission announced late last week that Mexico would be releasing water from a reservoir on the San Rodrigo River, welcomed news to Delta Lake Irrigation District Manager Troy Allen.
"It's like a checkbook, we don't get water unless there is a deposit and our deposit has to come from rainfall and most of that rainfall is in Chihuahua, Mexico and comes down different tributaries, Allen said.
According to a 1944 water treaty, Mexico should release 350,000 acre feet of water for U.S. consumption each year. (An acre foot is the amount of water that covers an acre of land covered by water, a foot deep.)
But the reservoir Mexico is releasing only has about 23,000 acre feet.
"The U.S. only gets one third of that water, so that's about 7,500 acre feet and that's nothing," Allen said.
By the time the 7,500 acre feet is allocated to each irrigation district, Delta Lake will only see about 700 acre feet of that water, a very small portion for the whole district.
"That TMs what we pump in one day," Allen said.
As of now, Allen says Mexico is a little more than a year behind in their payments.
"Every little bit they release helps but I just hope this is the beginning and not their full intent of what they want o deliver because if it is, it's just a slap in the face, Allen said.
Delta Lake has already lost $1.5 million since August and with some farmers not planting this season, everyone else will soon feel the pinch too.
"It trickles down everywhere, Allen said. You'll see higher prices in the store probably because of less production of vegetables and stuff."
If Mexico doesn't release more water, Allen says we need a really good rain storm.
As Delta Lake's water is forecasted to run out around the end of May.
Congressman Rueben Hinojosa's office tells Action 4 while they are glad Mexico has begun to make good on its part of the treaty, the congressman will continue to work with Mexican officials to get all the water the region has rights to.