Recommendations in this year's report, its fourth, are targeted at one of the region's most pressing issues: water. In a word, the border region does not have the infrastructure, policy, or institutions required to address the public's water needs, either in terms of quantity or quality. Good Neighbor recommends that a Border-Region Strategic Water Plan be developed. This Plan should be based on a watershed approach, which should become the universally- adopted basis for alleviating water problems and encouraging sustainability in border region water resources. Its development must include participation, in fact, leadership, from state, local and tribal governments and complement their own efforts to support a watershed- based approach. The Strategic Water Plan should address both surface and groundwater issues. It should lead to sustainability for both natural ecosystems and economic activity, thereby also helping to safeguard human health. The Board recommends that key priority watersheds be selected for special focus within the overall Plan. Successes and lessons learned from this subset of watersheds can then be applied elsewhere until all border-region watersheds are managed through a watershed approach. In the report that follows, this watershed approach concept is laid out through five interrelated recommendations. Each recommendation is accompanied by background contextual information, goals, objectives, and measures for success. Following the five recommendations, an ensuing section singles out one of the border's major operating programs, the U.S.-Mexico Border XXI Program, which is led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Mexican Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries (SEMARNAP), and provides a close-up assessment of its contributions. Next, the benefits of the Board's ongoing ties with Mexican civil society, including the Region 1 National Advisory Council for Sustainable Development (Region 1 Consejo), are outlined.
The report concludes with a Board roster and a listing of relevant web sites.