Deep Dive: Full interview with Texas-Mexico border water expert Dr. Jude A. Benavides

Pablo De La Rosa
2 min readJul 29, 2022


A view of the Rio Grande River at Bentsen State Park. | Creative Commons

Note: You can jump straight to the full audio interview on YouTube or SoundCloud.

Water crisis on the Texas-Mexico border

While working on a story on water scarcity in northern Mexico, multiple experts in the US that work closely with international water reservoirs told me that water scarcity may soon have dire effects on our side of the border.

One organization I spoke with said that Zapata County and the Rio Grande Valley running out of water is “a real possibility” in the next few weeks if current conditions persist.

You can read my story on the Texas Public Radio website here: Water becomes a black market south of the border, experts say scarcity could impact Texas border communities soon

South Texas-North Mexico Regional and International Water Reservoirs | Pablo De La Rosa

Full interview with border hydrology research scientist

I had an opportunity to chat with Dr. Jude A. Benavides who is a professor of environmental sciences in the School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences at UTRGV. He’s also a hydrology research scientist and board member of the Southmost Regional Water Authority.

While admitting that there’s urgent work to be done, Dr. Benavides put our current situation into a broader context and explained why it’s difficult to predict exactly what will happen over the next few months.

He shared that our current crisis could still be resolved by rainfall this year, but that future demands for water from the increasing urbanization happening in South Texas will still need to be addressed.

We also talked about water management solutions happening now, the place water conflicts have had in our history, and what young people can do today to explore future solutions in this sector.

You can listen to my full interview with Dr. Benavides in the video player below. Or you can also watch or listen on YouTube or Soundcloud.

For more stories from the Rio Grande Valley from Pablo De La Rosa, you can can check out his Linktree here or follow him on Twitter.



Pablo De La Rosa

Pablo De La Rosa reports statewide with Texas Public Radio and nationally with NPR from the Texas-Mexico border, from where he originates.