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Mar 10, 2023
Water is crucial. Without water, lives are disrupted. Economies grind to a halt. Food for entire regions cannot be grown. As the climate changes, the sources of water that regions have depended on for centuries may become depleted. When the amount of water changes in a river basin, it not only affects that region but all regions downstream from it. This can spread water issues across state lines, introducing competing interests between bordering states. To prevent conflicts among adjacent states, there exists a legal framework to decide how finite water resources should be apportioned. Interstate compacts outline how water flowing in interstate rivers should be apportioned. Texas and New Mexico have been parties to such a compact—The Pecos River Compact—since 1949. Extensive litigation, including the most recent 2020 Texas v. New Mexico Supreme Court case, suggests that the Pecos River Compact requires more detailed terms to resolve disputes without burdening the Court. A more detailed Compact that addresses the realities of a changing climate is needed to efficiently
solve the projected increase in water disputes.