The United States and Mexico have reached an agreement on sharing the Colorado River's water rights, officials said.
After years of sporadic negotiation, a five-year deal between the countries is about to be signed, in which regional water agencies in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada will purchase nearly 100,000 acre-feet of water from Mexico's share of the Colorado River, enough to cover the requirements of 200,000 families for a year, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Mexico will receive $10 million, earmarked to repair damage caused by a 2010 earthquake to Mexicali Valley irrigation canals, a reconstruction effort described by Jorge Zazueta Camacho, president of an irrigation district, as "very slow, and sometimes it stops for months because there's no money."
Officials said they hope the water agreement will lead to longer deals between the two nations dependent on the Colorado River.
"It's a good way to open the door," said Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
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