U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Grant Program

The U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program provides funding for the region 100 kilometers (62 miles) north and 100 kilometers south of the U.S.-Mexico border.

In the early 2000s, lawmakers understood that investment was needed to protect the country's shared rivers. Several waterbodies in the border region—including the Tijuana, New and San Pedro rivers—either originate in or run through Mexico and flow northward into the United States. Another river, the Rio Grande, forms part of the border between the United States and Mexico. Transboundary water migration and lack of clean drinking water can result in health problems for people on both sides of the border.

Signed in 1993, amended in 2002, and entered into effect in August 2004, this international agreement between the United States and Mexico created the Border Environmental Cooperative Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADB) to certify and fund environmental infrastructure projects in border-area communities. Both countries committed to provide funding for infrastructure in the region and formalized the U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program under EPA’s management.

Water infrastructure investments have paid off. Between 2003 and 2013, the program has significantly reduced waterborne diseases by providing more than 63,300 homes with first-time access to safe drinking water. More than 569,800 homes obtained first-time access to wastewater treatment services.

Projects Eligible to Receive Funding

Eligible projects must be located within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Projects, both in the United States and in Mexico, must address existing conditions that will have a positive effect on health and environment in the United States. Projects in Mexico must also have the support of appropriate federal and state agencies, including the Comision Nacional de Agua (CONAGUA) (also known as the Mexican National Water Commission) and the respective state water utility. If a project sponsor is not in compliance with an existing Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF) grant agreement or Project Development Assistance Program (PDAP) technical assistance agreement, the project sponsor will be ineligible for future BEIF/PDAP funding until these issues are resolved.

How to Apply for Funding

When funding becomes available, EPA Region 6 (serving Texas and New Mexico) and Region 9 (serving Arizona and California) issue a solicitation that identifies the timeframe for submitting an application, documents that need to accompany the application, ranking criteria, and information on the funding process. For more information, contact the EPA managers of the U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program.


Public Environmental Documents


Additional Information

Certification requirements are explained in BECC's certification criteria available for review on the BECC website Exit. Requirements for financing approval can be reviewed on the NADB website Exit.