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Frontera norte

On-line version ISSN 2594-0260Print version ISSN 0187-7372


CORTEZ LARA, Alfonso A.; DONOVAN, Megan K.  and  WHITEFORD, Scott. The All-American Canal Lining Dispute: An American Resolution over Mexican Groundwater Rights?. Frontera norte [online]. 2009, vol.21, n.41, pp.127-150. ISSN 2594-0260.

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.

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

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