Events & Media


A Sustainable Water Markets Fellowship Program Speaker

"Restoring River Flows and Wetlands through Water Markets:
The Colorado River Delta, the Mexicali Irrigation District, and the US-MX Minute 319 Agreement."

Yamilett Carrillo
Conservation Scientist
Restauremos El Colorado
International Community Foundation

Monday, June 5, 2017
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Yami is an engaging speaker and a leader in Colorado River Delta management. Her interdisciplinary work touches on a variety of topics — river science, water markets, environmental justice, and community engagement. This talk will focus on her work to bring water back to the Colorado River Delta."

— Alyssa Obester (MESM 2017), Sustainable Water Markets Fellow

As the first environmental "water trust" created in Mexico, Restauremos El Colorado (formerly the Colorado River Delta Water Trust) had to learn to operate in a true water market to re-allocate volumes for river flow and riparian restoration. In doing so, we had to change our approach regarding the agriculture development/wetland loss paradigm and learned the hard way that "managing water is managing conflict" at all levels. “Perfect conditions” may never exist, but "right conditions" can be built for binational collaboration on river restoration.
An international agreement allowed for a tripartite partnership to allocate water as instream flows between the US and Mexico. This agreement allowed flows past the gates of the final dam in the Colorado River, Morelos Dam, in the spring of 2014. Since then, Restauremos, with the support of a binational coalition of environmental organizations and water agencies in Mexico, have kept the deliveries of instream flows using the canal system of Mexicali's agricultural valley. Thus, every year since then, the dry riverbed becomes a small river that flows continuously in some parts of the delta floodplain for at least couple of months.

Dr. Yamilett Carrillo has worked on restoration projects within multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural frameworks in Northern Mexico since 1998. Her scientific research focuses on the link between agricultural water use and the restoration of riparian forests and marshes in the trans-border region of Mexico and the US. She’s responsible for developing the former Colorado River Delta Water Trust, now Restauremos El Colorado, and working with the Trust's board and technical committee. Restauremos El Colorado is a binational collaborative that combines the forces of four NGOs from both the U.S. and Mexico to dedicate instream flows for river restoration.
Dr. Carrillo's expertise in the linkages between water markets and wetland restoration in arid lands has given her the opportunity to publish articles in scientific journals as well as to participate as an advisor to the Mexican delegation who negotiated “Minute 319” of the US-Mexico International Water Treaty. She currently participates in the Environmental Group under CILA/IBWC framework for Minute 32x negotiations.
Dr. Carrillo has a B.A. in Economics and a Ph.D in Renewable Natural Resources with emphasis in Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences. She loves exploring nature, especially scuba diving in Baja Sur. Her passion, though, is bringing rivers back to life.

NOTE: Bren seminars are hosted by Bren faculty members and are generally high-level talks about research in a particular area of environmental science and management.


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