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The U.S. Can’t Control the Tijuana Sewage Faucet

The United States and Mexico disagree on the source of a weeks-long sewage spill at the border, but an investigation into the cause demonstrated what those working on the border already know — the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant in San Diego is in desperate need of repair. 

As of Friday, U.S. officials at the International Boundary and Water Commission — a binational agency that works on border water treaties — believed the millions of gallons of raw sewage that escaped the border wastewater system earlier this month came from a crack in a big concrete pipe in Mexico called the International Collector, which carries sewage from Tijuana wastewater mains to the U.S. treatment plant. (That pipeline is old and by now has surpassed its useful life, according to a 2019 report by the North American Development Bank.)   

Who Owns the Tijuana River – and Who Needs Its Water Most

On a stormy day, 1 billion gallons of water can rage down the river crossing from Tijuana to San Diego.

None of that water is captured for reuse now among the two desert cities it splits, which are regularly prone to drought, because it’s considered polluted by sewage spills on the Mexican side. If successfully recycled, that water could prove to be valuable as the Southwest grows more water-uncertain due to climate change.

Binational ‘Meeting of the Minds’ on TRV Contamination

California State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) convened a half-day meeting at the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant on July 9, 2020 between officials from both sides of the border to discuss the binational efforts that are underway to stem the flow of toxic wastewater in the Tijuana River Valley.

With Signing of USMCA, Help is on the Way for Tijuana Sewage

President Donald Trump signed the renegotiated trade agreement with Mexico and Canada Monday that will replace NAFTA.

The bipartisan deal includes $300 million to help address the frequent sewage spills in Tijuana that contaminate beaches in San Diego’s South Bay.

“It’s a huge win for San Diego and it’s a huge win for our cross-border region,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who attended the signing ceremony outside the White House.