The Under Secretary of State (Welles) to the Mexican Ambassador (Castillo Nájera)
My Dear Mr. Ambassador: You are doubtless aware of the fact that no understanding exists between our Governments recognizing the present uses in Mexico and in the United States of the waters of the Lower Colorado River and the Lower Rio Grande, respectively. Lands in both countries have to date enjoyed a beneficial use from these important water systems and it is believed that it would be advisable that an agreement be entered into between the two Governments confirming the present uses of Lower Colorado River waters on Mexican lands and similar uses of Lower Rio Grande waters on American lands in the State of Texas. I understand that a certain amount of water going to Mexico from the United States in the one area and an equal amount of water delivered from Mexico for use in the United States in the other area would satisfy these requirements and correct the present unsatisfactory situation.[Page 1030]
I am certain that you share with me the feeling that the present large developments of the lower portions of each stream system are entitled to this protection and that such an agreement which would be entirely logical would obviate possible future difficulties. Accordingly, this Government would welcome an opportunity of having our Commissioners on the International Boundary Commission, United States and Mexico, report on the question of the area of land being irrigated and the amount of water used by each country from the other country’s source, in order that present beneficial uses of water on the Lower Colorado River and the Lower Rio Grande might be recognized and confirmed by agreement between our Governments.
I shall accordingly appreciate it if you will be good enough to ascertain whether your Government would be disposed to authorize the Mexican Commissioner to join the American Commissioner in the preparation and submission of a joint report on this important matter.
Very sincerely yours,