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Podcast / October 24 2023

How negotiators navigated the thorny issue of water rights between Mexico and the US

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You may have heard about the Colorado River negotiations that ended in May 2023. In a monumentally important agreement, several US states along the Colorado River agreed to cut water use. In this episode, we hear about an earlier round of Colorado River talks between the United States and Mexico. These binational talks from 2007 to 2012 tell us something about resource scarcity and the delicate negotiations required to address the issue.

Bruno Verdini, professor of negotiations at MIT and Harvard, followed the talks closely and interviewed just about everyone involved for his book Winning Together: The Natural Resource Negotiation Playbook. Host Jenn Williams talks to Verdini about how the agreement not only reduced water consumption, but also benefited each side in multiple ways. The Negotiators is a collaboration between Doha Debates and Foreign Policy.

Listen to part two of our look at the Colorado River negotiations, “The water agreement that helped avert a monumental resource crisis.”