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Major Rivers, Rio Grande River
transportation centers, Mexican citizens, entire route, riverbed, Rio Grande
The Rio Grande River flows southward from its source in the Rocky Mountains for 3,100 km (1,900 mi) until it joins the Gulf of Mexico. Along its entire course from the dry, high plateau region to the humid, flat coastal plain, people have historically depended on water from the Rio Grande for drinking, irrigation, and industrial uses.
The demand for this riverís water is so high along its entire route that downstream locations are often left with inadequate supplies for the amount of agricultural acreage under cultivation. There have been occasions when the riverbed of the Rio Grande near El Paso, Texas was totally dry. To ensure that Mexico is guaranteed use of a certain amount of the riverís water, the United States agreed to build a series of dams across the Rio Grande. Accompanying reservoirs were then used to hold water for use by Mexican citizens.
An increase in international trade between the United States and Mexico has spawned the rapid growth of cities and industries on both sides of the Rio Grande. Several trade and transportation centers have developed along the river, including Albuquerque, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. Brownsville, Texas, located at the mouth of the river, maintains an excellent deep-water port.
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