building shared vision assessment of transboundary aquifers along the united states mexico border
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Building shared vision: assessment of transboundary aquifers along the United States – Mexico border. Presented at International Conference on Water Scarcity, Global Changes, and Groundwater: Management Responses, University of California – Irvine, UNESCO, USGS, 1-5 December 2008.

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building shared vision assessment of transboundary aquifers along the united states mexico border
Building shared vision: assessment of transboundary aquifers along the United States – Mexico border.

Presented at International Conference on Water Scarcity, Global Changes, and Groundwater: Management Responses, University of California – Irvine, UNESCO, USGS, 1-5 December 2008.

building shared vision assessment of transboundary aquifers along the united states mexico border1

Building Shared VisionAssessment of Transboundary Aquifers along the United States – Mexico Border

Christopher Scott

Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, and

Dept. Geography & Regional Development,

University of Arizona

[email protected]

slide3

Co-Authors

Sharon Megdal

Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona

Lucas Antonio Oroz

Comisión Nacional del Agua

Martín Mexía

Comisión Estatal del Agua de Sonora

Hildebrando Ramos

Comisión Estatal del Agua de Sonora

Special Thanks

James Callegary

US Geological Survey

Prescott Vandervoet

Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona

slide4

Currently designated priority transboundary aquifers

U.S.-MexicoTransboundary Aquifer Assessment ActU.S. Public Law 109-448 (Dec. 22, 2006) legislated objectives
  • Integrated scientific approach to assess priority transboundary aquifers
  • Produce scientific products…that:
    • are capable of being broadly distributed; and
    • provide scientific info. needed by water managers and natural resource agencies on both sides of the border
  • Secretary of Interior (through USGS) directed to collaborate with:
  • State water resource agencies
  • Any affected Indian tribes
  • Others monitoring/ metering water
  • International Boundary and Water Commission “as appropriate”
  • México
slide5

Background

  • Congress authorized $50M over 10 years (FY07 – FY16)
  • Funds to be divided 50-50% USGS - State Water Resources Research Institutes
  • Funds appropriated for FY08 only ($0.5M)
  • Arizona - 1/6 for USGS, 1/6 for Water Resources Research Center at Univ. Az)
  • California Congressional Delegation opted out of participation
  • WRRIs’ funds can be spent in Mexico, but there must be a 50% match (may be in-kind)
  • Aquifers to be investigated initially:
    • Hueco Bolson, Mesilla, potentially others (in NM/TX - Chihuahua)
    • Santa Cruz, San Pedro only (AZ - Sonora)
slide6

San Pedro Aquifer

  • Population ~ 150,000
  • San Pedro National Riparian Conservation Area: > 300 bird species, endangered Sonoran pronghorn
  • Fort Huachuca Army Garrison
  • Congressionally mandated maintenance of sustainable yield
  • 3rd largest copper deposit in the world at Cananea
  • Number of modeling efforts. Some consider aquifer on both sides of border.
slide7

Santa Cruz Aquifer

  • River begins and ends in US
  • Combined population of Ambos Nogales between 300,000 and 400,000
  • Intensive mining both historic and current; source of contamination
  • Aquifers not extensive
  • AZ water law encourages maximal pumping until water rights are legally established
  • Number of modeling efforts, none binational
slide8

Challenges

  • Rapid economic growth
  • Border current population over 12 million; projected to be 13 million to 15 million by 2010
  • Arid environment, declining water tables, and contamination (lack of even basic sewage treatment in some Mexican cities)

Aquifers are sole or next available water source

High water demand:e.g. U.S. side of the Santa Cruz aquifer:

slide9

Progress -

Santa Cruz

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Scientific

Plans -

Santa Cruz

Update water balances

Assess movement and interaction of surface and groundwater; develop hydrogeologic maps of surficial and bedrock geology

Analyze trends in groundwater quality (salinity, toxins, and pathogens)

Characterize institutions, assess possibilities and limits of shared aquifer management

Apply new data and models to evaluate strategies to protect water quality and enhance supplies

Compile, develop info. on land-use, population, and economic growth; monitor changes through time

slide11

Model Applications

  • Synthesize model inputs and outputs for each complete binational basin
  • Provide aquifer-based decision support for policy makers to address:
    • aquifer and basin water budgets
    • scenarios of demographic and economic growth
    • climate change impacts
    • water management plans

Priority Studies

  • Create a physically-based hydrologic model of each binational basin that integrates surface-, ground-, and unsaturated-zone water.
    • Summary of Approach:
      • Compile extant data
      • Examine existing models
      • Identify data gaps
      • Develop unified hydrologic framework
slide12

Improve Binational Data Exchange

(e.g. Location of wells sampled In Mexico’s San Pedro)

slide13

Institutional Asymmetries

  • Contrasting organizations, responsibilities
  • IBWC/ CILA groundwater mandate unclear
  • Border ‘security climate’
  • Stakeholder interest in collaboration, info exchange
  • Shared aquifers, shared futures
slide14

UNESCO’s Internationally Shared Aquifer Resources Management (ISARM) Program now includes as case studies TAAP Arizona-Sonora. (Note: San Pedro already a UNESCO HELP basin.)This will facilitate international exchange of approaches to transboundary aquifer assessment

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For further information, seehttp://cals.arizona.edu/azwater/taap/Christopher [email protected]

Thank you

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