The State of Texas and the Brownsville Public Utility Board (PUB) have agreed to provide short-term municipal water needs for Matamoros, Mexico, the state's top environmental official said today.

Robert J. Huston, chairman of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), says meeting the needs of cities while assuring fair and legal allocation of water from the Lower Rio Grande remains a "top priority" for Texas.

"This action by the TNRCC and the PUB is a significant demonstration of our constant effort to meet municipal water needs, respect the law and ensure the flow of water to those entitled to it by law," Huston says.

As TNRCC chairman, Huston oversees the Rio Grande Watermaster's Office, which, according to Texas law, manages U.S. water in the river from Hudspeth County to the Gulf of Mexico.

"I have asked our Watermaster to continue to closely monitor the ability of Matamoros to meet domestic needs, and to facilitate Mexico's ability to deliver water to its citizens," Huston says. "We believe we have averted a crisis."