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Water resources in U.S.-Mexico border region sought for solutions by GNEB, White House

Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2012 -- Today, the Good Neighbor Environmental Board (GNEB or Board), will issue its 15th annual report to the president entitled: The Environmental, Economic and Health Status of Water Resources in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region.

The Board is an independent federal advisory committee that develops recommendations to the President on U.S.-Mexico border environment and infrastructure issues. The report will be accepted on behalf of the President by Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

Given the ongoing drought conditions in the border region, CEQ requested that in its 15th annual report, the Board review the status of water resources and provide recommendations for solutions that will also help address challenges created where river systems and ground water basins span the international border and water demand continues to grow.

Diane Austin, the Board’s Chair, states, “Despite significant investments over the past decades, rapid population and business growth, lack of financial resources, gaps in authority and the declining quality of water resources contribute to significant water and water infrastructure needs.”

The report recommends a number of specific actions to be initiated by the federal government that will lead to increased collaboration and coordination, reduced discharge into border water bodies, enhanced drinking and wastewater infrastructure, and improved financial conditions.

The Board is composed of representatives from federal government departments and agencies; state, local, and tribal governments in the border region; and community development, academic, health, environmental, and other non-governmental organizations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for managing the Board’s activities.

The 15th Report of the GNEB can be found online at http://www.epa.gov/ocempage/gneb/.

For further information, please contact Mark Joyce, Designated Federal Officer for the Good Neighbor Environmental Board at 202-564-2130, or joyce.mark@epa.gov.

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