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The Environmental Infrastructure Challenge on the US-Mexico Border. Seven Years Assessment after the Creation of the NAFTA Institutions BECC & NADBank

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The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada and Mexico established in 1993, increased trade and economic growth between the three countries. However, the US-Mexico border region has experienced an explosive growth in population and public services demand. Infrastructure needs are estimated in 3.1 billion only for water and wastewater projects to satisfy current needs. Considering projected growth rates, the current 12.5 million population on the border area will double in 20 years. This increasing population will demand additional 9.2 billion of environmental infrastructure. The Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADB). In their seven years of existence, have already brought 49 environmental infrastructure projects worth 1.0 billion dollars to different implementation phases. Nonetheless, both agencies now face structural changes aimed to better serve under their mission and to meet the expectations raised to local communities. This paper presents a seven-year assessment after the creation of BECC and NADB. Also, a description of the alternatives lay out by both countries to restructure the agency's operational framework and its impact in meeting the infrastructure challenge is presented. This institutional experience is valuable for all Latin American countries, the US. and Canada if thinking in seeking the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) as expressed in the Third Summit of the Americas held in Qu├ębec in April 2001.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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