United States
Environmental Protection
        ANNUAL REPORT 2012
U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program
   U.S.-Mexico  Border Water
           Infrastructure  Program
                                                 The U.S.-Mexico Border Program's bi-national
                                                 framework is based on the 1983 La Paz Agreement and
                                                 the subsequent environmental agreement to NAFTA
                                                 addressing infrastructure needs and related
                                                 environmental impacts from the expected trade increase.
                                                 This report highlights fiscal year 2012 (FY12)
Public Health Benefits:
The program has provided 60,000
border homes with access to safe
drinking water, and 544,000 homes
with adequate wastewater collection
and treatment services, reducing the
risk of disease.
 Environmental Benefits:
 The program has developed the
 capacity to eliminate more than 450
 million gallons per day of raw or
 inadequately treated sewage from
 being discharged into surface and
 groundwater, improving water quality
 and supporting fish populations.
Economic Benefits:
Program investments benefit the
U.S. by over $6 million annually from
avoided disease and over $13
million from ecological
improvements. Average annual
program spending of $65.85 million
from 1998 to 2012 has resulted in an
estimated U.S. GDP increase of $75
million per year.
                 The U.S.-Mexico Border Water
                 Infrastructure Program funds the planning,
                 design and construction of high priority
                 water and wastewater treatment facilities in
                 underserved communities along the
                 border. Border communities seek the
                 program's assistance as a last resort when
                 utilities, cities, or states are not able to fully
                 finance necessary infrastructure

                 The 2012 Good  Neighbor Environmental
                 Board report, The Environmental,
                 Economic and Health Status of Water
                 Resources in the U.S.-Mexico Border
                 Region, documents the multiple challenges
                 this area  faces in meeting basic drinking
                 water and wastewater infrastructure needs
                 and the positive  impact of EPA's
                 investments  in addressing these needs
                 and improving the border ecology.

                 This U.S.-Mexico Border Program Annual
                 Report highlights program accomplishments
                 for fiscal year 2012 (FY12) and the
                 benefits provided to economically
                 distressed border communities.
  Since 1997, EPA has completed 80
  projects that benefit more than 5 million
  border residents. In FY12, the U.S.-Mexico
  Border Program provided 5,185 homes
  with safe drinking water and 31,092 homes
  with adequate wastewater services.

  The U.S.-Mexico Border Program currently
  has 24 projects under construction and is
  supporting 26 communities in the planning
  and development of projects for future
  construction. This assistance helps
  communities advance their projects to a
  construction-ready stage, allowing them to
  successfully apply for a variety of funding
  sources, including U.S.-Mexico Border
  Program construction grants.

  All program funding is invested in projects
  that benefit public health and the
  environment in the United States. For
  example, a wastewater project in  Mexico
  can only be funded if contaminants would
  otherwise reach U.S. waters. Treating
  contaminated water after it has crossed the
  border is not technically feasible nor
  financially viable. Treatment of sewage at

U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program | Annual Report 2012
  the discharge point lowers exposure to contaminated
  water, reducing waterborne diseases, as well as health
  care and remediation costs in the United States. In both the
  New River in California and the middle Rio Grande in
  Texas, fecal coliform levels have dropped by over 80
  percent as a result of two new wastewater treatment plants.
  The Santa Cruz River in Arizona now supports a healthy
  fish population, where just a few years ago only
  bloodworms and other pollution-tolerant species survived.
  Beaches in southern California that were often closed due
  to wastewater pollution are now safe for swimming and
  other recreation activities, due in part to EPA infrastructure
  investments in the Tijuana watershed.

  The program's positive impact on border public health and
  ecology also benefits the economy of U.S. border
  communities. These added benefits include direct and
                                                       indirect job creation, reduced absenteeism and increased
                                                       worker productivity, reduced illness, enhanced recreational
                                                       values of beaches and avoided economic losses
                                                       associated with beach closures. Investments in water
                                                       infrastructure projects further stimulate beneficial trade

                                                       Proper operation and maintenance is key to ensuring that
                                                       these facilities achieve their expected useful life. EPA is
                                                       undertaking initiatives to protect water infrastructure
                                                       investments and support border communities' sustainability
                                                       efforts. For example, in FY12, EPA sponsored energy
                                                       efficiency and capacity building webinars and delivered
                                                       training to 250 operators working at plants funded by the
                                                       U.S.-Mexico Border Program. In FY13, EPA will
                                                       incorporate other initiatives, such as energy efficiency and
                                                       water conservation audits at selected border facilities.

  Funding of Last Resort: Laredo and Webb
  County, Texas

  The U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Pro-
  gram supplemented funding provided by the Texas
  Water Development Board and Webb County to pro-
                           vide first-time drinking
                           water and wastewater
                           collection and treatment
                           to 3,725 residents living
                           in 15 colonias. The com-
                           prehensive water and
                           wastewater project for
                           colonias in Laredo and
     Conditions prior to project
                         Webb County exempli-
                         fies the many challenges
associated with providing these basic services to
underserved border communities.
  The project consisted of several phases, including
  the expansion of water distribution and wastewater
  collection systems. The final phase provided a 0.125
  million gallons/day (MGD) wastewater treatment
  plant to service 4 of the 5 Mines Road Planning
  Area colonias. This comprehensive project was
  completed in September
  2012, with the construc-
  tion of additional water
  and wastewater hookups
  in two colonias.  From a
  total project cost of close
  to $21.6 million, the U.S.-
  Mexico Border Program
  Contributed apprOXi-     Construction of water infrastructure
  mately $7.9 million.           hookups to homes
                                                                               LosAlisos Treatment Project
Investing in Mexico to Improve U.S. Waters:
Nogales, Sonora, Mexico

The Ambos Nogales region is home to the sister
cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora,
where waters flow across the border into the Santa
Cruz River and northwards through Tucson, Ari-
zona.              ^   [^^^^^^B
A shared history of
public health haz-
ards associated
with frequent sew-
age spills and in-
adequate wastewa-
ter treatment infra-
structure spurred
the development of
the Los Alisos
Wastewater Conveyance and Treatment project.
The $19 million project, completed in November
2012, was a joint venture funded by EPA's U.S.-
Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program, Mex-
ico's National Water Commission (CONAGUA), the
State of Sonora and the city of Nogales, Sonora.
Currently the 5 million gallons/day (MGD) facility
diverts and treats sewage that would otherwise
flow north  into the United States. Improved water
quality from treated wastewater reduces stress on
the recently upgraded Nogales International
Wastewater Treatment Plant in Arizona. A one-
megawatt solar power generating facility,  partly
funded by EPA, is now under construction and will
provide enough power to sustainably operate the
wastewater treatment plant.
                                                                         Office of Wastewater Management

                                                                                         March 2013