Environmental issues along the United States-Mexico border: Drivers of change and responses of citizens and institutions

Diana M. Liverman, Robert G. Varady, Octavio Chávez, Roberto Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The US-Mexico border region illustrates the challenges of binational environmental management in the context of a harsh physical environment, rapid growth, and economic integration. Transboundary and shared resources and conflicts include limited surface water supplies, depletion of groundwater, air and water pollution, hazardous waste, and conservation of important natural ecosystems. Public policy responses to environmental problems on the border include binational institutions such as the IBWC, BECC and CEC, the latter two established in response to environmental concerns about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Environmental social movements and nongovernmental organizations have also become important agents in the region. These new institutions and social movements are especially interesting on the Mexican side of the border where political and economic conditions have often limited environmental enforcement and conservation, and where recent policy changes also include changes in land and water law, political democratization, and government decentralization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-643
Number of pages37
JournalAnnual Review of Energy and the Environment
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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