The Rio Grande/Bravo basin that stretches across the southern United States and northern Mexico commonly describe as hot, dry, binational, critically important, yet overallocated.
‘Hot, dry’ refers particularly to the arid portion of the basin that overlaps with the Chihuahuan Desert.
‘Binational’ refers to an almost even split of the basin between Mexico and the U.S., with about 48% of the basin’s total area of 355,500 sq miles (920,740 km2) lying in Mexico, and 52% in the U.S.
‘Critically important’ describes how essential water resources are to support the basin’s 13 million people.
And, finally, ‘overallocated’ brings to light the growing gap between water supply and demand, which is reaching crisis proportions in many parts of the basin.