The document that federal officials circulated among water authorities outlines a series of common measures based on the current five-year agreement that expires at the end of this year. The United States and Mexico share a nearly 2,000-mile border and several rivers, including the Colorado River and the Rio Grande. The Colorado River is primarily located in the United States, crosses the border between the United States and Mexico, and empties into the Gulf of California. The source area of the Rio Grande is in the United States, its major tributaries are found in both the United States and Mexico1 and its riverbed is the border between the United States and Mexico in Texas. These common surface waters, described in Table 1, are important for many economies and the water supply of many border communities. by 2002) and that any deficit incurred during the 1997-2002 cycle may be carried forward to the next five-year cycle. The United States argued that La Minute 234 required Mexico to offset water debts incurred during the 1997-2002 cycle, along with water debts from 1992 to 1997. Disagreements over the interpretation of minute 234 have still not been resolved. Differences in interpretation with respect to minute 234, exceptional drought or other issues are particularly likely to arise in dry conditions and when Mexican deliveries from Rio Grande are covered by the annual targets and requirements of the five-year cycle. . . .