The American Rio Grande Land and Irrigation System
Texas Historical Marker

Land developer, B. F. Yoakum saw agriculture potential along the Rio Grande and found investors in 1905 for an irrigation project. They purchased 250,000 acres and the townsite of Mercedes for business headquarters. The pump station began operating in 1908. The system had grown by 1920 to three large canals, miles of branches, and five pumping plants. In 1930 the Hidalgo and Cameron County Water Control and Improvement District took over the system which continues to serve the farming area of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. (1979)

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