Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project improvements funded through the Recovery Act will be discussed at the April meeting of the Lower Rio Grande Citizens’ Forum (LRGCF).

The LRGCF was established by the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) to facilitate the exchange of information between the USIBWC and members of the public about Commission activities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The meeting will be held Wednesday, April 22, 4 to 6 p.m. at the Commission office at 325 Golf Course Road in Mercedes.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17. It is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart the economy, provide or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on long-neglected challenges.

The Recovery Act includes $220 million in funding for the USIBWC. The USIBWC will invest a significant portion of this funding in improvements to the Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project (see list of USIBWC’s Recovery Act projects at http://www.ibwc.gov/Files/PressRelease_030909.pdf). Dr. Raymundo Aguirre, a civil engineer with the Commission, will give a presentation about the levee improvements that are planned to be accomplished with Recovery Act funds.

In other business, USIBWC Area Operations Manager Patrick Daize will discuss the work plan for maintenance and repair of El Morillo Drain. The drain, located in Tamaulipas, Mexico, is an international project to improve Rio Grande water quality by diverting saline irrigation return flows from Mexico that would otherwise flow into the river. Operation and maintenance costs are divided between the United States and Mexico; the U.S. share includes a contribution from Lower Rio Grande Valley water users through the Rio Grande Regional Water Authority.

A binational inspection of El Morillo Drain and related infrastructure, such as pumps, was accomplished on March 5 and a work plan was developed for maintenance and repair of the project in 2009 and 2010. The work plan includes repair of two pumps and maintenance of structural, electrical, and mechanical components of the pump-house building, maintenance of the various gates that control the flow of water, and removal of silt and debris within the drain canal.

Mexico is also planning to encase 170 meters of the drain to reduce maintenance problems.

A complete meeting agenda follows. Members of the public who would like more information about the meeting may contact the USIBWC’s Lower Rio Grande Project Office at 956-565-3150 or the Public Affairs Office at sallyspener@ibwc.gov. For additional information about the Recovery Act, go to www.recovery.gov.


Welcome and Introductions - Bill Lewis, Lower Rio Grande

Citizens= Forum Co-Chair

Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Levee Rehabilitation Using

Recovery Act Funds - Dr. Raymundo Aguirre, Civil Engineer, USIBWC

Planned Maintenance and Repair of El Morillo Drain - Patrick

Daize, Area Operations Manager, USIBWC

Public Comment

Board Discussion

Suggested Future Agenda Items

If you have a disability that you wish to self-identify confidentially that requires accommodation, please advise us ahead of time. For more information, call 956-565-3150.

*Directions: From Expressway 83, exit Mile 2 W. Travel south for

approximately 1.5 miles to Golf Course Road. Turn left. The USIBWC is the first building on your left.