CBS Evening News for Friday, Nov 24, 1972
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(Studio) United States special representative Herbert Brownell visits Mexicali Valley, Mexico, to study question of whether United States irrigation practices ruining Mexican farmland.
REPORTER: Roger Mudd
(Mexicali, Mexico) Mexican farmers in Mexicali Valley face destruction because of salty water. Since 1965, crops ruined. On United States side of Colorado River, large American farms in Wellton-Mohawk Valley prosper. Water leaving valley has very high salt content. United States farmers feel Mexicans don't know how to farm. [Farmer Jim NAQUIN - says United States needs to teach Mexicans to use water they have.] [Farmer Tom HOWELL - says Mexico contributes no surface flow to Colorado River] Mexico has dug 700 fresh-water wells for irrigation, but water from Wellton-Mohawk pollutes them with salt. This, Mexicans claim, is violation of 1944 treaty with United States over water rights. Mexican health investigations indicate relationship between high salt content of water and high incidence of kidney stones in older adults. [Spokesman for governor of Baja California, Rafael MARTINEZ - says United States breaking principles of 1944 treaty.] Any remedy will require time, and meanwhile farmer families wait.
REPORTER: George Natanson
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