Water and Sustainable Development in the Binational Lower Rio Grande/Bravo BasinEPA Grant Number: R824799
Title: Water and Sustainable Development in the Binational Lower Rio Grande/Bravo Basin
Investigators: Schmandt, Jurgen , Barajas, Ismael Aguilar , Sisbarro, Daniel J.
Current Investigators: Schmandt, Jurgen , Aguilar, Ismael , Armstrong, Neal , Chapa, Liliana , Contreras, Salvador , Edwards, Robert , Hazelton, Jared , Jesus Navar, Jose de , Mathis, Mitchell , Vogel, Enrique , Ward, George
Institution: Houston Advanced Research Center
Current Institution: Houston Advanced Research Center , Texas A & M University , The University of Texas at Austin
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: November 1, 1995 through January 1, 1998
Project Amount: $400,000
RFA: Water and Watersheds (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water and Watersheds , Water
Description:In its 1994 Regional Assessment of Water Quality in the Rio Grande Basin, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission made two recommendations for further research and policy development: 1) an improved understanding of water issues as they relate to the binational border dynamic and 2) development of lasting links across the U.S.-Mexico border. The project unites critical information on water, population, economics, and ecology in an approach that will assist managers and policy decision makers to plan for sustainable management of the binational watershed. The objectives are:
- To develop, compare and integrate reliable, comparable watershed-based data sets for the Lower Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Basin.
- To analyze water resource issues as critical factors for achieving sustainable development in this type of watershed.
- To engage researchers, policymakers, and the civic community to help answer the questions, "What is needed to make development in the binational watershed more sustainable? And how will we get there?"
As the task force began developing their baseline scenarios for water supply and demand, water quality, water management, socioeconomic factors, and ecology, we determined that we will need more extensive analyses of agriculture, tributaries, and groundwater. In addition, we also need to include a greater diversity of participants in the workshops. The GIS team has produced preliminary maps for the research project, however, there are large gaps in data availability and reliability on the Mexican side. The surveys are stimulating great interest locally because they depart from traditional research methods and people enjoy involvement. The binational task force will meet in February to discuss baseline scenarios. The first future scenario, drought conditions, will be explored in 1997. The first workshop will also be held in 1997, involving civic leaders, water managers, non-profit organizations, and the private sector to rank threats and risks to water and development in the watershed.