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Frontera Mexico Norteamericana - Bajo Rio Bravo, Presa de Anzalduas, Presa Falcon (3a. Parte)

International Boundary and Water Commission

Silent | 1961

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    • About the video
    • The Anzalduas Dam ... The Anzalduas Dam
    • The Falcon Dam The Falcon Dam
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    This series of films, created by the International Boundary and Water Commission in 1961, documents the land and works in the border region between Mexico and the United States. Each film surveys a segment of the U.S.- Mexico Border, from the Big Bend of Texas to the Pacific Ocean, and focuses on dams, bridges, electric and sanitation plants, monuments, settlements, and general water usage in these regions. This reel covers the Lower Rio Grande River and features the Falcon and Anzalduas Dams. The main focus is on the inner-workings of both dams as workers perform maintenance on the exterior and take readings on instruments located both inside and outside the structures. A tour of the Falcon Dam's hydro-electric power generator provides a close look at the plant's giant equipment. At the Anzalduas Dam, a survey of the area shows the surrounding settlement and a school that exist on the river and reservoir.
    The International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) has its roots in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsen Treaty of 1853, both of which established (and re-established) the U.S.-Mexico border, and also established commissions to survey and map the new U.S.-Mexico border, designating landmarks to mark the border. As the rivers that created the borders changed their courses naturally, land changed jurisdiction, and the International Boundary Commission (IBC), the IBWC's predecessor, was established in 1889 to apply rules that resulted from the Rio Grande and Colorado Rivers' roles as the boundaries between the two countries. In 1906, the two countries signed their first water distribution treaty, the Convention of March 1, 1906, which designated portions of the rivers to each country. In 1933, the two countries began joint river projects to stabilize the Rio Grande, and in 1944, the countries formed the IBWC to enforce allocations of the river and began work on dams that would be operated and maintained by both countries. The IBWC has been integral in resolving boundary disputes for the two countries over the following decades and in constructing dams and reservoirs that stabilize the boundary rivers, keeping them on course to maintain consistent borders and benefits for the U.S. and Mexico.

    The Anzalduas Dam is an earthen emankmant dam on the Rio Grande River in Hidalgo County, Texas, approximately 11 miles upstream from Hidalgo, Texas and Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. It is a diversion dam used for flood diversion and irrigation purposes. The dam diverts U.S. floodwaters to its interior floodway and directs waters to Mexico's main irrigation canal. It is 71 feet tall, 5,454 feet long, and has a 16,400 acre feet capacity, although normal storage remains at about 13,900 acre feet. The Anzalduas Dam construction began in 1956 and was completed in 1960. It is operated and maintained by the IBWC.

    The Falcon Dam is an earthen embankment dam and reservoir on the Rio Grande River that finished construction in 1954. The Falcon Dam is situated in Starr County, Texas and Nueva Ciudad Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico. It serves as an international boundary and crossing between Texas and Mexico. In addition to its role as an international boundary, the Falcon Dam also serves purposes of water conservation, irrigation, flood control, and recreation for both countries. The Falcon Dam also supplies water to hydroelectric power plants in both the U.S. and Mexico, creating energy for the turbine generators and supplying water for the penstocks from the reservoir. The dam is 150 feet high and 26,294 feet long. It was dedicated in October 1953 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mexican President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines. It is a project of the IBWC.