Development of a Bi-national Groundwater Management Model to Provide for a Sustainable Water Supply Within the El Paso / Ciudad Juarez Region

EPA Grant Number: SU832491
Title: Development of a Bi-national Groundwater Management Model to Provide for a Sustainable Water Supply Within the El Paso / Ciudad Juarez Region
Investigators: Keller, G. Randy , Chew, Mariana , Gonzalez, Hector
Current Investigators: Keller, G. Randy , Chew, Mariana , Tidwell, Vincent , Walton, John
Institution: The University of Texas at El Paso
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: October 1, 2005 through October 1, 2006
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2005) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Water , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


The El Paso/Juarez region is the largest metropolitan area along the United States /Mexico border. The area is in need of a long-term water management plan to include groundwater and surface water, due to the scarcity of fresh groundwater and because it has a population growth higher than the U.S./ Mexico and World population growth rates.

The Hueco and Mesilla Bolsons are the main aquifers and the primary water source for municipal and industrial uses. The City of Juarez in Mexico relies on groundwater for almost one hundred percent of its water needs, while the City of El Paso, Texas relies on groundwater for as much as sixty percent of its water needs. Even though groundwater is the most important source of water for the region, bi-national water management along the United States/Mexico border is focused on surface water and not on groundwater. There are no formal local and/or international agreements with regard to how groundwater should be managed. Current regional planning efforts lack a global water management approach, and social, political, and legal issues have only been addressed marginally.

The purpose of the proposed study is to develop a bi-national groundwater management model that enables the El Paso/Juarez region to consider a strategic planning approach that will include existing hydro-geological, legal, social, economical and political studies, along with new bi-national agreements that describe limitations and recommend new initiatives. Additional similar, bi-national environmental issues could also be modeled after the proposed bi-national groundwater management model. This project will require close coordination with the El Paso Water Utilities as well as the City of Juarez Water Utility

Supplemental Keywords:

hydro-geological studies, economics, groundwater, water management plan, urban planning, sustainable development, environmental policy, U.S./Mexico Border,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Environmental Engineering, Urban and Regional Planning, US Mexico Border, urban planning, sustainable water use, drinking water, recovery, environmental sustainability, conservation, cost benefit, sustainable urban environment, water conservation, resource recovery, environmental cost analysis, environmental education, rainfall harvesting, renewable resource

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report