Source: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO submitted to
SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCES FOR IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE IN A DESERT RIVER BASIN FACING CLIMATE CHANGE AND COMPETING DEMANDS: FROM CHARACTERIZATION TO SOLUTIONS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
EXTENDED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1005789
Grant No.
2015-68007-23130
Project No.
TEXW-2014-09383
Proposal No.
2016-03545
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
A8101
Project Start Date
Mar 1, 2015
Project End Date
Feb 29, 2020
Grant Year
2019
Project Director
Hargrove, W.
Recipient Organization
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO
500 WEST UNIVERSITY AVE
EL PASO,TX 79902
Performing Department
Research Sponsored Projects
Non Technical Summary
Over the past 100 years, the Middle Rio Grande has been the primary source of water for irrigated agriculture in the region. Due to recent severe periods of drought and growing demand, the river alone no longer meets regional water needs, leading to increased groundwater use and dropping water tables. We propose an integrated research, extension, and education project with the following objectives: 1) model medium to long-term climate scenarios and their impacts; 2) improve and integrate existing simulation models, to include climate change impacts, surface-subsurface interactions, and changing water demands; 3) integrate existing models into a spatially explicit, dynamic systems model that can inform participatory stakeholder meetings; 4) implement a stakeholder participatory approach to modeling activities and through reflection/synthesis meetings, identify and formulate solutions that can potentially: a) augment water supplies available to agriculture; b) optimize water allocations among competing demands; and c) improve water use efficiency and conservation, while reducing environmental impacts; 5) disseminate solution technologies and management practices through traditional extension methods; and 6) strengthen our capacity to train water resources professionals. Our approach to participatory modeling is particularly innovative. Additionally, our approach is holistic, interdisciplinary, and integrative. Our institutional strengthening activities will result in effective training of water resources professionals for the 21st century, the majority of whom will be Hispanic. The participatory framework and the solutions developed in this project will be applicable not only to other arid to semi-arid agricultural regions in the U.S. but also globally to desert river basins experiencing similar challenges.
Animal Health Component
0%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
20%
Applied
60%
Developmental
20%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1110210205030%
1010110201010%
1030110200010%
1320430207010%
6050210301020%
6080210308020%
Goals / Objectives
The long-term goals of our proposed project are: 1) improved management of regional water resources to sustain irrigated agriculture in the face of dwindling supply and competing demands; 2) development of a platform for adaptive management, consisting of knowledge bases, scenario tools, and participatory learning processes, with lessons that can be shared with other sites facing similar challenges; and 3) strengthened capacity to train and prepare water resources professionals in interdisciplinary, holistic, integrative approaches, with a focus on increasing numbers of Hispanic students, which means that the professionals that we train will also be culturally and linguistically appropriate for the region.
Project Methods
The key processes that we will quantify and model, and the models that we have chosen for each, include:Climate - U.S. Climate Divisional and PRISM data archives; global climate model projections (CMIP3 and CMIP5 archives); regional downscaled climate model projections (NARCCAP archive); and hydrologic projections (from the Bureau of Reclamation WestWide Climate Risk Assessment); additional discussion below;Snow fall and melt in the headwaters of the Rio Grande as the main input to Elephant Butte Reservoir, which is the primary determinant of flow in the middle portion of the basin;Surface hydrology and agricultural production - and SWAT;Groundwater hydrology - MODFLOW, calibrated for the region ;Surface-groundwater interaction - RiverWare, under validation by USGS for the region;Urban and self-supplied industry contributions to flow and withdrawals - water budgets that are based on accounting rather than process models; the utilities in the region have robust data sets and planning data available for this purpose.Economics, including agricultural production, future water demands for agricultural and non-agricultural users - Rio Grande Hydro-Economic Model .An important need is improved models of surface groundwater interaction that can support conjunctive water management and use. RiverWare is a model that can simulate surface and groundwater interactions. This model is being tested, validated, and improved by USGS, for the Rio Grande and transboundary aquifers in our region. Our project will evaluate link this model to other models to simulate the dynamic surface-groundwater continuum. A coordinated water resources database and GIS coverage will be developed to assemble surface and groundwater data and related information in a spatial framework. All the regional water budget terms (inflows and outflows) will be linked to the basin scale RGHEM. Our project will also expand and further integrate data and models for easy access and timely sharing with regional stakeholders to make science-based decisions on water operations and conjunctive management.Another important aspect of surface/groundwater interactions is water quality, especially with respect to salt.We will further characterize the salt dynamics of the Rio Grande and linked aquifers, in relation to climate change, river flow, groundwater extraction, induced brackish intrusion, and human use/disposal. We will characterize water quality within water scenarios by using historical data to determine past chemical responses to change and then model change in future scenarios. Geochemical modeling techniques such as PHREEQC can be coupled with the surface and groundwater models to quantify geochemical processes. Salt loading data are available from municipal and industrial discharges. In agriculture, historical data will be complemented with targeted sampling, experiments, and observations in irrigated fields, focused on salt balance and soil accumulation. Results from salt and water balance observations for major irrigated crops in relation to river flows will enable us to quantify salt loading in soils, supply and return channels, the river itself, and the alluvial aquifer.Climate scenarios and their impacts will be estimated throughavailable models.Our modeling and data resources, all available at UNM, include the recently revised U.S. Climate Divisional and PRISM data archives; global climate model projections (CMIP3 and CMIP5 archives); regional downscaled climate model projections (NARCCAP archive); and hydrologic projections (from the Bureau of Reclamation WestWide Climate Risk Assessment). We will use these resources to: 1) assess upstream inputs into Elephant Butte under conditions of climate variability and change; and 2) model Middle Rio Grande climate variables under conditions of climate change. We will start with hydrologic projections generated by the WestWide Climate Risk Assessment (Reclamation 2011) and examine climate change impacts on hydrologic projections, as recently done for the nearby upper Gila River basin (Gutzler 2013b). We will extend the Reclamation assessments to generate a wide variety of scenarios for future reservoir inputs and releases using RGHEM. Additionally, we will use CMIP5 and NARCCAP climate projections to develop scenarios for future climate change impacts on the surface water budget, which can also serve as input to RGHEM. Particularly important for this assessment is a drought with at least the severity and duration of the 1950s drought, but embedded within a warmer climate. The primary tool for assessing changing water demand will be the basin scale RGHEM at NMSU We will use this model to assess human dynamics as a driver of change by projecting current trends in water consumption and modeling water demand in novel, altered scenarios. Ethnographically-sourced user water demand curves (described below) will be scaled up to the aggregate level based on population/sector size estimates, thereby providing a novel and powerful scenario tool. Municipal and industrial demand, consumptive use, and wastewater output will be entered in RGHEM from publically available utility data and planning documents. We also have future demand projections available from the Border Region Economic Modeling Project based at UTEP. Our econometric models will be calibrated for the past 60 years and run forward for 50 future years annually in 10-year rolling periods, with extreme climate years modeled. To explore needs and solutions at the farm level, we will evaluate how farmers currently manage water and will respond to alternative future scenarios. We will use structured ethnographic elicitation techniquesto identify farmer values, specific water management practices, water microeconomics, and institutional power to obtain water. Interviews will include structured elicitation of water demand responses within hypothetical scenarios of climate, water access, and socio-economic change. We will obtain an opportunity sample of farmers for focus groups and interviews, stratified to represent the major subsets of farmers: medium to large-scale agriculturalists (in turn divided among main regional crops); and small-scale agriculturalists (including a self-governing acequia). We will generalize representative interviews to aggregate scale using current crop acreage in the region in order to project future farm water demands. While imperfect, this extrapolation produces novel and powerful input for the RGHEM model.We will utilize and extend an existing web-based system to integrate models and create a tool that can be used for scenario analysis. ELSEWeb enables iterative, adaptive model composition, recommended by others with experience in scenario analysis of human and environmental systems. Rather than constructing a single, comprehensive model of the entire system, ELSEWeb couples component models using an approach called Semantic Automated Data Integration. SADI uses standards-compliant Web languages and Semantic Web service patterns to describe the inputs and outputs of models.We propose an innovative participatory modeling approach to engage stakeholder panels in analyzing the drivers of change, developing and evaluating scenarios, and synthesizing meaningful outcomes from modeling. We will meet regularly with stakeholder panels to solicit input into our modeling efforts and the interpretation of results. By engaging directly in the research, stakeholders will become more effective agents of change (Voinov & Bousquet 2010). Drawing on methods described and evaluated by Kallis et al. (2006) and Liu (2007) and our team's experience with participatory modeling in Mexico (Robles-Morua et al., 2014), we will use participatory approaches that include team members and stakeholders to develop plausible scenarios, identify and test interventions, and arrive at consensus on implementable solutions.

Progress 03/01/17 to 02/28/18

Outputs
Target Audience:Our target audiences are all stakeholders concerned about the future of water in our region, and as our approach is based on engagement and participation of stakeholders from beginning to end, their involvement is a process that builds upon each encounter. We made a major, successful effort to identify and engage these stakeholders in Yr 1 of our project. This was achieved in two stages. First, we met with key leaders, agencies, and groups to introduce our project, obtain their reaction to our proposed activities, and solicit their guidance and collaboration in implementing the project, and second, we conducted a number of focus group meetings with key stakeholders to discuss their vision for the future of water in the region, their concerns and issues, and important research questions regarding the future of water. In the second year of the project we followed up with stakeholders to share what was learned in the first round of meetings and to present and discuss the various modeling tools that we plan to use in the project, including the Bucket Model that we developed and the SWAT and MODFLOW models. In general, stakeholders have trust in these models as viable tools for use in the project. Much of Yr 2 was spent "backstage" from the target audiences, preparing and validating the models to be used. In Yr 3, we convened meetings with stakeholders to present validation results for the Bucket Model and to present the User Interface. We were successful in demonstrating the efficacy of the model in simulating the major parts of water supply including the reservoir storage, river flow, and decline of the aquifers as pumping increased. We presented results for a projected 10-yr drought. In Yr 4, we will evaluate a number of other climate scenarios, evaluate the impacts of competing demands, and begin to evaluate interventions to improve the sustainable use of water in the region. These will be presented to and discussed with stakeholders through group meetings. Changes/Problems:We propose to add Dr. Blair Strigam, Associate Professor in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Science Department at NMSU as a collaborator/participant. We will submit his biosketch and a rationale for this addition in our renewal document. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?UTEP *Brian Guerrero, MA in Sociology; El Paso Water's new program of direct potable reuse. *Marlene Flores, MA in Latin American and Border Studies; small utilities, challenges in serving geographically and socially marginalized rural communities. Diego Sanchez, MA in Sociology; attitudes and behaviors to water among El Paso household consumers. *Karen De Anda, MA in Latin American and Border Studies; impact of water sustainability issues on alternative agriculture. *Evan Lopez, MA in Latin American and Border Studies; literature review on transboundary water on the U.S.-Mexico border. *Alondra Soltero, BS in Geological Sciences; data compilation in ArcGIS on social variables in project study area. *Jose Caballero, MS in Software Engineering; automated data exchange between the Water Modeling User Interface and the modeling system GAMS. < >Omar Sulaiman Belhaj, Ph.D. student, ESE Program, UTEP - land use/land cover classification, acquired and processed satellite imagery. <!-- --> *Carlos S. Reyes, undergraduate research assistant, B.S. Environmental Science; classified satellite imagery for the study region. *Andrew Ellerson, M.S. in Civil Engineering; system dynamic modeling for field scale salinity and SWAT-MODFLOW-RT3D connection for salinity assessment. *Yohtaro Kobayashi, B.S. in Civil Engineering; developing a graphical model, based on Bayesian Networks, that can categorize the impacts of irrigation method on salinity. *Neelam Tahneed Jahan, M.S., Civil Engineering; collected and organized model input data, developed a basic SWAT model. *Maryam Samimi, PhD student, Civil Engineering; developed a SWAT watershed model and a reservoir simulation model for climate change impact assessment. *Tallen Capt, Ph.D., Civil Engineering - predictive modeling for municipal water consumption and wastewater production as a function of climate parameters. Alahmoradi, M., M.S.Civil Engineering; Graduated 2017; Thesis: Developing a system dynamics model of the El Paso water resources system. Summer Research Interns Lisa Baughman, M.S., Environmental Science - Wetland Vegetation Monitoring at the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park Anna Ortiz, Ph.D. Environmental Science and Engineering - Reactive Transport Modeling of CO2 Emission and Calcite Precipitation Kinetics in Dryland Agriculture Ivy Trevizo, M.S., Environmental Science - Climate Change Communication Gerardo Montero, B.S., Civil Engineering - Estimating Evaporation in the Middle Rio Grande Irrigation Delivery System NMSU *Sarah Sayles, Ph.D. Student, Water Science & Management Program - built prototype farm income management model for assessing water banking options in Rio Grande basin for adapting to future water supply shortages. *Befekadu Habteyes, Ph.D. Student, Water Science and Management Program - calibrated bucket model for the Elephant Butte and Caballo Rio Grande Project region. *Sarah Acquah, Ph.D. Student, Water Science and Management Program - describing future hydrologic and policy scenario impacts for bucket model. *Dina Salman, Ph.D. Student, Water Science and Management Program - working with NMSU engineering professor to assemble crop ET data for New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. Carlos Silva, Ph.D. Student, Water Science and Management Program - working on groundwater-surface water models to support policy analysis as well as optimization models for irrigated agriculture in southern New Mexico. Hugo Luis Rojas Villalobos, PhD Student, Water Science & Management Program - administration of GIS data Bernard Bah Kuma, PhD Student, Water Science & Management Program - economic optimization of water use patterns in a river basin with competing and complementary uses. *Olga Rodriguez, M.S. student, Water Science & Management Program - data compilation and analyses for model inputs. *Curt Pierce, M.S. student, Water Science & Management Program/Plant & Environmental Sciences Department--design and installation of drip irrigation system for pecan orchard experiments, data collection and analysis, assisting course instructor/co-teaching undergraduate-level irrigation and drainage course. Alfredo Aragon (major: Horticulture) and Daniel Ibañez (major: Geography), undergraduate students--assist with installation and running of micro/drip irrigation systems, assist graduate student and faculty with data collection/entry. TAMU Minki Hong, Ph.D., Agricultural and Biological Engineering, research on interaction of groundwater and surface water. Olga Rodriguez, M. Eng., Civil Engineering , thesis research on water consumptive uses of pecan with Eddy Covariance observation. David Ruiz, B.Eng., Civil Engineering , flow data compilation and analysis. Jeff Downey, PhD, Agribusiness and Managerial Economics. Examined water-energy nexus for electricity production and hydro-fracking. JhamnDas Suthar, an exchange student from Pakistan, has initiated a greenhouse study to evaluate salinity tolerance of cluster bean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba L). John Clark (Technican), Carlos Castro, Monique Ontiveros and Priscilla Reyes have been getting on the job training on field and laboratory protocols related to irrigation water use efficiencies, water reuse and salinity management practices. Summer Research Interns Carolina V. Solis, B.S. Environmental Sciences - Geoscience (UTEP), compilation and analysis of groundwater data. Paola I. Soto-Montero, B.S. Environmental Sciences - Geoscience (UTEP), compilation and analysis of groundwater data, continued working at the Center after the summer intern. UACJ Undergraduate students: Sergio Granados González and Gabriela Veleta Jáquez, Geoinformatics Bachelor Program at UACJ (Cuauhtémoc Extension). LULC development and geospatial analysis. Ana Laura Ruiz Aragonez, Physics Bachelor Program at UACJ. ETP analysis and Crop spectral signature using eBee Drone. Katya Esquivel Herrera, Geoscience Bachelor Program at UACJ. SWAT modeling Graduate Students: Arturo Soto Ontiveros, PhD Program on Urban Studies; MODFLOW modeling. Hugo Luis Rojas Villalobos, PhD Program on Water Science and Management at NMSU. GIS Master and project web page. Ana Cristina Garcia, MS Environmental Engineering Program. Groundwater quality. UNM *Nolan Townsend, M.S. EPS Department - worked on development of climate change scenarios, including the normalization of naturalized flow projections to make projected flows appropriate for use in models developed by the project. *John Carilli, B.S. Physics Department - processed surface hydrologic data for bucket model development; decoded daily precipitation and evapotranspiration data for use in environmental flow assessements. *Justin Norris, B.S. EPS Department - analyzed climate model projections of Rio Grande streamflow Sean Leister, B.S. EPS Department - analyzed relationships between temperature, precipitation and streamflow in the study area. MTU *Jessica Alger, MS Environmental Engineering; working on reservoir evaporation and urban evapotranspiration modeling. *Ken Thiemann, PhD Environmental Engineering; is the lead graduate on the development of the water balance model. *Azad Heidari, PhD Civil Engineering; assisted in the development of irrigated agriculture evapostranspiration sub-models. *Marjan Monfarednasab, MS Environmental Engineering; working on groundwater-surface water exchange modeling. *Hannah Weeks, BS Geological Engineering; assisted in the processing of data for the water balance model and the urban evapotranspiration model. *Tristan Odekirk, MS Environmental Engineering; processing the groundwater elevation data and collecting literature on local groundwater aquifers. *Huiling Piao, BS Environmental Engineering; assisted in the processing of data for the water balance model. Professional Development *Maryam Samimi, Ph.D. student at UTEP, and So Ra Ahn, Post-Doc at TAMU-El Paso, attended a week-long training program on SWAT-MODFLOW coupling at Colorado State University. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Dissemination of results is one of our objectives. See accomplishments for Objective 5 for a complete list of dissemination activities. Of particular note is the Water Symposium hosted by UTEP, where our students presented results. We invited many of our stakeholders to this meeting. We presented 29 poster papers, mostly by students supported on the project. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Objective 1. Model development, improvement, integration, validation. With respect to the User Interface, we aim to have a version of the Bucket Model sufficiently ready for use by stakeholders in the User Interface by March 1, 2018. This version will contain all of the functionality deemed essential by team members, based on our experience and feedback from stakeholder meetings.This central activity (participatory modeling of futures) of our project will move to the forefront in year 4. Based on feedback from stakeholders, we will continue to improve the User Interface version of the Bucket Model and the functionality and usability of the interface itself.Some of these improvements include: Incorporate climate stress and temperature as drivers in the bucket model Incorporate meteorological and economic factors into urban water demand analysis. Allow stakeholders to raise water delivery efficiency to farm use from river diversions. The "three bucket model" is scheduled for additional upgrades to account for irrigation recharge to aquifers, evaporation from irrigation fields, urban and agricultural water use in Mexico, surface and groundwater interactions including seepage, pumping, and river-aquifer exchanges, and environmental values of water based recreation as well as environmental protection flows in selected parts of the basin.This will be accomplished by adding various submodels and improved crop ET data for New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. Environmental flow constraints for the Caballo-El Paso reach will be confirmed and constraints for the El Paso-Ft. Quitman reach will be developed. Naturalized flows time series will be analyzed to determine alternative environmental flow constraints. The water balance model will be used to investigate the impacts on storages and water allocations. Economic studies will be performed to determine the value of environmental flows by determining corresponding economic losses with the bucket-optimization model. The experimental irrigation system installed on the NMSU Leyendecker farm near Las Cruces will be used to collect important water use data and to test the strategy of partial root zone drying and deficit irrigation. GIS tasks in progress include production of annual land use/land cover maps covering the 25-year period 1990-2015; acquiring or estimating current and future water service coverage areas for the cities of El Paso, Las Cruces and Ciudad Juarez; and collection of geospatial data to assess social and geographic impact of present and future water policies. The calibration of the SWAT model will be completed for the whole study area. Linkage between SWAT and MODFLOW models will be accomplished with the SWAT-MF module. Impacts of climate change scenarios and extreme drought conditions will be evaluated using SWAT-MF by incorporating climate model inputs for inflows and temperature patterns. To evaluate costs and benefits of water allocation to riparian habitat, we will extend the hydro-economic Bucket Model to include environmental flows for Willow Flycatcher habitat. This will be used to determine the basin-wide opportunity cost of providing Willow Flycatcher habitat. Finish development of the Bayesian Network Model for Salinity.Generalize the Bayesian Network Model.Develop the System Dynamic Model for cotton, alfalfa, and pecan.Continue with efforts to link SWAT-MODFLOW-RT3D.Conduct field scale investigation of aerial imaging for salinity assessment. With respect to urban water demands, simplify water demand forecasting model to annual timescale and implement into the HydroEconomic Bucket Model to enable climate sensitivityfor stakeholder engagement.Develop wastewater production model for annual water volume limit of direct potable reuse.Developeconomic modeling for three alternative water supplies: brackish desalination, direct potable reuse, and interbasin importation. Objective 2. Climate scenarios. We plan to (a) implement the extended 20-year drought scenario using the bucket model (b) examine additional climate model projections for the range of hydrologic futures implied by different model projections(c) extend our scenarios to higher resolution for use in spatially distributed hydrologic models(d) document and interpret these scenarios for stakeholders as part of the continuing dialogue with them.Task (d) may become more important as the potential for historic drought this water year unfolds. Objective 3. System Dynamics model. The dynamic interactions in the water balance will be improved, including evapotranspiration rates based on local climate, surface water allocations based on historical policies and minimum storage, and groundwater pumping rates based on surface water allocations. We will begin to model the urban/agricultural water interface, including existing and projected transfers between these sectors, and the hydrological effects of land use changes and alternative policies for that domain. Objective 4. Stakeholder engagement and participation. We plan a series of meetings with stakeholder groups to present and discuss modeling results, demonstrate the user interface, and encourage its use. We will also model interventions, such as changes in management, technology, or policy, as we move to a stage where we can discuss not only past patterns and future scenarios, but also the impacts of emerging solutions from farm to regional scale. We think this solutions approach will be engaging for stakeholders. Thus, this year will be an important stage in enacting our participatory modeling, now that we have usable models for exploring water projections and solutions. Objective 5. Dissemination. We plan to host the Water Symposium again in early 2019, including a poster paper session to allow our students to present their results. We will continue to make presentations to stakeholders as the demand/opportunity arises. We envision opportunities for demonstrating technologies through our field research including drip irrigation, water reuse, water conservation, and soil salinity management. Objective 6. Water resources education and institutional strengthening. UNM will offer the course on hydrologic forecasting again in Fall, 2018. The "Regional Water Sustainability in a Changing Climate" course has been approved by UTEP Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and we are in the process of making it a required course at the senior level for the Environmental Science program. In the next offering, we plan to include a bucket model exercise developed by the research team. We will host another water symposium in January, 2019, for students to present water-related research. We will continue the Water Resources Seminar Series at UTEP and NMSU and try sharing some of these through video conferencing with UNM and/or MTU. We will continue to provide undergraduate internships at UTEP, UNM, and MTU. We are planning an integrated Art/Environmental Science course with a focus on water. This will be done in conjunction with two artists in residence at UTEP and an art exhibition at UTEP's Rubin Center for Visual Arts entitled "New Cities, Future Ruins" addressing sustainability in the Sun Belt. Educational modules for undergraduate and graduate classes will continue to be refined and implemented.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Objective 1. Model development, improvement, integration, validation. The project web portal, available at https://water.cybershare.utep.edu, has been updated with new content and enhanced functionality for content management. A functional version of the user interface was developed and updated based on the most recent version of the Bucket Model (https://water.cybershare.utep.edu/bucket_05/home). The Bucket Model was advanced in several important ways.Sub-models were developed for reservoir evaporation rates, reservoir elevation-storage-surface area, irrigated agriculture evapotranspiration and return flows, urban evapotranspiration and return flows, groundwater-surface water exchanges, and groundwater elevations.The Bucket Model can be used as a regional water budget accounting model as well as a hydroeconomic optimization model. To better assess urban water use, a daily water demand prediction model for El Paso was developed.Also, we are evaluating social justice issues related to urban water use. The GIS team produced historical and current land use/land cover maps and the results have been used for the Bucket model as well as by the SWAT modelling teams, to model the water use implications of land use change. The SWAT model was calibrated and validated for the study area. MODFLOW models for the Hueco Bolson and Mesilla Basin were converted to the MODFLOW 2005 version for linkage between SWAT and MODFLOW. The linked SWATmf model was validated in the Texas portion of the study area. Linkage of SWAT and RiverWare was developed to improve accuracy of simulation of flow as well as salinity loading. Progress in modeling salinity processes include development of a Bayesian Network to simulate factors that impact salinity; developing a system dynamic model in isee STELLA® for field scale salinity in cotton; modification of MODFLOW to add unsaturated zone flows and unsaturated zone chemistry, and to modify the RT3D model; and investigating the use of aerial sensing using UAS to assess crop yield, soil moisture, and salinity at a field scale. A complex surface drip irrigation system was installed in 2017 in a 10-acre block of 'Pawnee' pecan trees at the NMSU Leyendecker farm near Las Cruces, NM.The system design will permit testing the use of partial root zone drying and regulated deficit irrigation to conserve water while minimizing yield/economic losses where insufficient water is available to fully meet annual orchard evapotranspiration demands. Objective 2. Climate scenarios. We developed several different climate scenarios to use for simulations in the Bucket Model.These included a historical baseline time series using observed data for a 20-year period (1994-2013); two "extended drought" scenarios, in which the driest year in the data record (2011) was repeated five times, and another in which the driest three years (2011-2013) are repeated for a 20-year drought; and a climate change scenario in which projected streamflow into Elephant Butte Reservoir and precipitation over the study area through 2070 were adapted from a climate model simulation. Objective 3. System Dynamics Model. A system dynamics simulation model of El Paso water resources system was developed to investigate the effects of urban water management policies taking into account feedbacks between urban and agricultural water use. In predictive mode, the water balance model was extended to include several dynamic interactions, including evapotranspiration rates based on local climate, surface water allocations based on historical policies and minimum storage, and groundwater pumping rates based on surface water allocations. Objective 4. Stakeholder engagement and participation. Through six meetings, we updated stakeholders on basic features of the Bucket Model and its validation, simulation of a ten-year drought scenario, and demonstration of the user interface. Held one focus group meeting with environmental professionals to discuss ideas for modeling ecosystem services. Farmer participatory field studies were initiated in cotton and pecan fields to determine on-farm irrigation water use efficiencies under different methods (flood, surge, and drip). Two "hands on" workshops were offered in Juárez, which were open to the public.The User Interface was demonstrated and participants were allowed to manipulate parameters and observe preliminary outputs. Pecan producers and other regional growers were interviewed to develop a more comprehensive understanding of choices of water use patterns in agriculture as well as preferences for policies that would promote a more sustainable future. Objective 5. Dissemination. Heyman, Josiah and Hargrove, William L. Listening to Complex and Diverse Stakeholders in the Paso Del Norte Water Region; presentation at Public Science Day in Santa Fe, NM;March 28, 2017. Report by Marlene Flores (GRA) on key findings of small utility project distributed to three utilities that provided interviews, Tornillo, TX; Anthony, TX; and Anthony, NM. Heyman presentation (regional water overview) to high school and college students at Water Resources and Conservation Symposium, July 14, 2017, sponsored by TX State Sen. José Rodríguez. Presentation on binational water issues to students from US and Mexico in study abroad exchange, through the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund awarded to UTEP and UNAM. Presentation of project progress to the EBID Board of Directors, May 16, 2017 Drought workshop co-sponsored with USDA Climate Science Hubs and TXAgriLife-El Paso; one-day workshop for stakeholders regarding how to manage under drought, August 15, 2017. Implemented two rainwater harvesting demonstrations in a colonia near Presidio, TX.The residents haul water for household use.Implementing rainwater harvesting to capture water for small livestock, gardening, and landscaping reduced hauled water by about half. Screened a documentary entitled "Last Call at the Oasis" and hosted a panel discussion about global and regional water management challenges atEl Paso Convention And Performing Art Center, open to the public.A total of about 60 participants attended the event. Dr. Richard Hereema who participates in our project, worked with Western Pecan Growers Association Board to organize an educational program on water management at their annual conference and tradeshow, March 5-7. Dr. Hereema presented at two local extension meetings on irrigation and salinity management. Dr. Hereema published article in 2017 for Pecan South magazine (major trade magazine for pecan industry) on topic of Irrigation Scheduling. Objective 6. Water resources education and institutional strengthening. Dr. Pennington conducted a unique, ten-day summer workshop for Ph.D. students around the nation who are conducting research on large, interdisciplinary water resource projects. A new graduate seminar course at UNM, entitled Climatic and Hydrologic Forecasting, was offered by the UNM PI in the Spring 2017 semester. The new course developed and offered at UTEP, "Regional Water Sustainability in a Changing Climate" in Yr2 was offered again in 2017 at the undergraduate level. Dr. Ali Mirchi at UTEP developed and taught graduate level course in Surface Water Hydrology (CE 5340). An NMSU seminar series was established beginning Fall 2016, with an emphasis on connections between water science, management, and policy. Educational modules on the Middle Rio Grande system were developed and used in an undergraduate geohydrology class, a graduate hydrology class, and a graduate mathematical modeling course at MTU.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Acquah, Sarah, and Frank A. Ward, Optimizing Adjustments to Transboundary Water Sharing Plans: A Multi Basin Approach, Water Resources Management, DOI 10.1007/s11269-017-1794-3, August 2017.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Accepted Year Published: 2018 Citation: Chavarria, S.B, and D.S. Gutzler, 2018: Observed changes in climate and streamflow in the upper Rio Grande basin. J. American Water Resources Assn., accepted for publication.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Cox, C., L. Jin, G. K. Ganjegunte, D. Borrok, V. Lougheed, and L. Ma. 2018. Soil Quality changes due to flood-irrigation in agricultural fields along the Rio Grande in western Texas. Applied Geochemistry 90:87-100.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Ganjegunte, G.K. and J.A. Clark. 2017. Improved Irrigation Scheduling for Freshwater Conservation in the Desert Southwest U.S. Irrigation Science 35: 315-326.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Ganjegunte, G.K., A. Ulery, G. Niu, Y. Wu. 2017. Effects of Treated Municipal Wastewater Irrigation on Soil properties, Switchgrass Biomass Production and Quality under Arid Climate. Industrial Crops and Products 99:60-69.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Ganjegunte, G.K., B. Leinauer, E. Sevostianova, M. Serena and R. Sallenave. 2017. Soil salinity of an urban park after long-term irrigation with saline groundwater. Agronomy Journal 109:30113018.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Accepted Year Published: 2018 Citation: Ganjegunte, G.K., G. Niu, A. Ulery, and Y. Wu. 2018. Treated urban wastewater irrigation effects on bioenergy sorghum biomass, quality and soil salinity in an arid environment. Land Degradation & Development (In press; DOI:10.1002/ldr.2883).
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Ganjegunte, G.K., G. Niu, A. Ulery, Y. Wu. 2018. Organic carbon, nutrient, and salt dynamics in saline soil and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) irrigated with treated municipal wastewater. Land Degradation & Development 29: 80-90.
  • Type: Book Chapters Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Granados Olivas, Alfredo, Arturo Soto Ontiveros y Ana Cristina Garc�a V�squez, 2017. Agua del Valle de Ju�rez: caso localidad de Pr�xedis. El Valle de Ju�rez: su historia, econom�a y ambiente para el uso de energ�a fotovoltaica. El Colegio de Chihuahua, Esmeralda Cervantes Rend�n / Coordinadora. Primera edici�n 2017. Pag 37-79. ISBN: 978-607-8214-43-3
  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Habteyes, Befekadu, and Frank A. Ward, Economic Performance of Water Conservation and Storage Capacity Development to Adapt to Climate in the American Southwest, New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute Technical Report, July 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Villanueva-Rosales, N., Chavira, L.G., Tamrakar, S.R., Pennington, D., Vargas-Acosta, R. A., Ward, F., and Mayer, A.S. (2017). Capturing scientific knowledge for water resources sustainability in the Rio Grande area. Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Capturing Scientific Knowledge, D. Garijo and M. de Vos, Editors, December 4, 2017, Austin, Texas


Progress 03/01/16 to 02/28/17

Outputs
Target Audience:Our target audiences are all stakeholders concerned about the future of water in our region. We made a major, successful effort to identify and engage these stakeholders in Yr 1 of our project. This was achieved in two stages. First, we met with key leaders, agencies, and groups to introduce our project, obtain their reaction to our proposed activities, and solicit their guidance and collaboration in implementing the project, and second, we conducted a number of focus group meetings with key stakeholders to discuss their vision for the future of water in the region, their concerns and issues, and important research questions regarding the future of water. The results of these meetings were summarized in last year's report. In the second year of the project we followed up with stakeholders to share what was learned in the first round of meetings and to present and discuss the various modeling tools that we plan to use in the project, including the Bucket Model that we are developing and the SWAT and MODFLOW models. In general, stakeholders have trust in these models as viable tools for use in the project. Much of Yr 2 was spent "backstage" from the target audiences, preparing and validating the models to be used, in order to return to the target audiences in Yr3 with models to address their questions and serve as a platform for further engagement. Changes/Problems:1. A major challenge that has slowed our progress somewhat is getting the Bucket Model and SWATmf complete, running, and validated. Locating some of the data that we need has been a challenge, especially since our area of interest cuts across two U.S. states (Texas and New Mexico) and one Mexican state (Chihuahua). Harmonizing U.S. and Mexico data is a challenge. However, we are making progress and still anticipating having working models in about six months. 2. Given the political climate nationally, we are requesting to change the title of our project from "Sustainable water resources for irrigated agriculture in a desert river basin facing climate change and competing demands: From characterization to solutions", to: "Sustainable water resources for irrigated agriculture in a desert river basin facing drought and competing demands: From characterization to solutions". Changing the term "climate change" to "drought" puts greater emphasis on the importance of drought adaptation expressed at our meetings with stakeholders as a focus for our research. Drought adaptation and mitigation continue to present a key challenge facing water managers in our study area. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Individuals who received training or professional development are listed below. *Denotes that the student was supported financially by the project. 60% of the students supported by the project are Hispanic, an underrepresented group in water resources professions nationally. UTEP *Brian Guerrero, MA in Sociology, assessment of EPW's new direct potable reuse system. *Marlene Flores, MA in Latin American and Border Studies; research on small utilities. William Vallee, M.A. in Political Science; governance of transnational groundwater. Diego Sanchez, M.A. in Sociology; thesis research on household water consumption. *Omar Sulaiman Belhaj, Ph.D. student, ESE Program; received hands on training on land use land cover classification, acquired and processed satellite imagery. *Carlos S. Reyes, Undergraduate Intern, B.S. Environmental Science; classified satellite imagery for the study region. Jose Caballero, B.S., Computer Science. Mr. Caballero received training in the use of General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS). *Oscar Ricaud, B.S., Computer Science; enhanced web portal to capture and generate aggregate data for project evaluation. Smriti Rajkarnikar, M.S., Computer Science; trained in the automated generation of models. Raul Vargas, Ph.D., Computer Science; trained on visualization requirements for the project's web portal. *Neelam Tahneed Jahan, M.S., Civil Engineering; collected and organized model input data, developed a basic SWAT model. *Maryam Samimi, PhD student, Civil Engineering: reviewed literature; collected and organized model input data, helped with SWAT model design. Majid Alahmoradi, M.S., Civil Engineering: reviewed literature; system dynamics modeling. *Tallen Capt, Ph.D., Civil Engineering - developed mathematical model for predicting daily water demand for El Paso as a function of daily temperature, population, and other factors. Summer Research Interns Anna Piña. MS, Environmental Science Program. Examined water quality, groundwater depth and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities at the Rio Bosque wetland. Carlos Reyes, B.S. Geology.Study of urbanization using remote sensing. Joe Candelaria, B.S. Civil Engineering; EPWU wastewater treatment system and potential biogas production. Gabby Porras, B.S. Civil Engineering. Urban water use modeling and fieldwork on water quality and water treatment. NMSU *Sarah Sayles, Ph.D. Water Science & Management Program; built prototype farm income optimization model for assessing water banking options in Rio Grande basin for adapting to future water supply shortages. *Befekadu Habteyes, Ph.D. Water Science and Management Program: calibrated bucket model for the Elephant Butte and Caballo reservoirs. *Sarah Acquah, Ph.D., Water Science and Management Program; identified and developed future hydrologic and policy scenario impacts to be evaluated by Bucket model. *Dina Salman, Ph.D., Water Science and Management Program; working with NMSU engineering professor to assemble crop ET data for New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. Carlos Silva, Ph.D., Water Science and Management Program; working on groundwater-surface water models to support policy analysis for irrigated agriculture. Hugo Luis Rojas Villalobos, PhD, Water Science & Management Program; GIS data. *Olga Rodriguez, M.S., Water Science & Management Program; data compilation and analyses for model inputs. TAMU *Shalamu Abudu, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Agricultural Engineering; conducted modeling research on hydrological aspects (RiverWare, MODFLOW). *So-ra Ahn, Assistant Research Scientist; conducted hydrological modeling (SWAT). Erick Reynoso, Research Tech II - GIS and project area delineation. *Darlina Prieto, Work-Study Student (UTEP), B.S. in Biological Sciences; Compile river flow and diversion data. *Jacqueline Alfaro, B.S. Environmental Science - analyzed properties of pecan fields, installed irrigation sensors and data loggers, collected data during the irrigation season. UACJ *Mariela Rascón Castillo, Bachelor in Geoinformatics, Dept. of Architecture, UACJ- GIS. *Mónica Quiñonez González, Bachelor in Geoinformatics, Dept. of Architecture, UACJ, ModFlow Modeling. *Obed Alejandro Márquez Barraza, Bachelor in Geoinformatics, Dept. of Architecture, UACJ, ModFlow Modeling. *Alfredo Jaquez Granados, Bachelor in Environmental Engineering (Ag Engineering Exchange student from UADHE) Precision Ag and eBee Drone mapping. *Ana Laura Ruiz Aragonez, Bachelor in Physics, Department of Physics, UACJ, Spectral analysis of imagery under SEQUOIA camera with eBee Drone. *Alexis Rodriguez Sanchez, Bachelor in Environmental Engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UACJ, SWAT geodata integration and modeling. *Oscar Ramirez Villazana, graduated from the M.S. Environmental Engineering program - accomplished the first phase on the delineation of aquifer layers for the project through aquifer characterization using geophysics. *Víctor Hugo Esquivel Ceballos, PhD Candidate at the Urban Studies Program, Department of Architecture, UACJ, Urban Growth, population and groundwater path evolution in Juarez. *Arturo Soto, PhD Candidate at the Urban Studies Program, Department of Arquitecture, UACJ, ModFlow modeling at study area in Mexico. *Hugo Luis Rojas Villalobos, PhD Candidate Water Science & Management Program at NMSU - administration of GIS data. *Ana Cristina Garcia, MS Student at the Environmental Engineering Program, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UACJ, Isotopic signature of groundwater samples at the Conejos Medanos-Mesilla Aquifer. UNM *Shaleene Chavarria, MS, Earth and Planetary Science Department; collected streamflow and snowpack data, analyzed seasonal streamflow forecasts on the upper Rio Grande. *John Carilli, B.S., Physics Department - processed hydrologic data for bucket model. *Justin Norris, B.S., Earth and Planetary Science Department; analyzed climate model projections of Rio Grande streamflow. Yu Jin Sung, undergraduate exchange student from South Korea; analyzed surface hydrologic data as part of bucket model development. *Justin O'Shea, B.S., Earth and Planetary Science Department; analyzed summer season precipitation and streamflow upstream from Elephant Butte Reservoir. MTU *LaurenMancewicz, B.S., Environmental Engineering, Intern; defined study area boundaries, including sub-watershed and aquifer boundaries and accompanying spatial database, collected input data for the bucket model. *Leslie Hamar, B.S., Environmental Science, Intern; identified spatially-distributed water withdrawal data for the US portion of the study area. *Ken Thiemann, Ph.D , Environmental Engineering; processing NASA datasets to obtain local climate inputs and output fluxes; assembly of geodatabase for Bucket Model. Professional Development Dr. Shalamu Abudu, TAMU, successfully completed a one-week training course on SWAT. Dr. Ali Mirchi spent one week in El Reno, OK at USDA-ARS lab to be trained on SWATmf. Professors and students involved in the project from UACJ were certified by SenseFly Inc as technical experts on Drone flight missions for Precision Ag Technology. Special training during the Fall semester 2016 for MS Student Ana Cristina Garcia from UACJ, at the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA) in Cuernavaca Mexico, specializing in isotopic analysis to evaluate groundwater quality and age. Dr. Sergio Solis, responsible for the UACJ SWAT modeling team, had a summer internship at the University of Warwick in England to evaluate and calibrate surface water modeling. Dr. Luis Carlos Alatorre from UACJ participated at the XVII SELPER International Symposium celebrated at Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. Dr. Alfredo Granados from UACJ took a sabbatical leave at UTEP during 2016 to manage and administer the project and coordinate Mexican team efforts. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Dissemination of results is one of our objectives. See accomplishments for Objective 5 for a complete list of dissemination activities. Of particular note is the Water Symposium hosted by UTEP, where our students presented results. We invited many of our stakeholders to this meeting. We presented 33 poster papers, mostly by students supported on the project. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Objective 1. Model development, improvement, integration, validation. The Bucket Model will be validated using historical data and then deployed to evaluate projections into the future.Key advancements necessary to meet this milestone include: (a) compilation of historical period model inputs and data for model calibration, including climate, gauged flows along the Rio Grande, and water withdrawals and return flows; (b) model calibration; and (c) coordination with the development of the model user interface. Progress on SWAT modeling will expand to include regional water management and use. Emphasis will be placed on calibrating the basic model using SWATCUP and manual calibration, and validating it based on regional water management operations, hydrologic patterns and observed trends in the Elephant Butte Irrigation District. We will also work on assembling the output of the SWAT to provide surface water boundary condition for running MODFLOW.Though the model is being built first for the Mesilla Valley portion of the basin in New Mexico, it will be expanded to include Texas and Mexico. There are particular needs for the Mexican side of the basin, including: 1) development of GIS shape files to include all of the hydrology and channel network components on the Mexican side; 2) collection and review of weather data series, from monitoring sites on Mexico and US within the study area; 3) development of land cover and use distribution maps, including the proper conversion from the FAO or USGS classification systems. We plan to create social layers in a GIS by: a) obtaining U.S. census tract shapefiles for study area; b) identifying key housing/water access variables from ACS and related key socio-economic variables; and c) collecting that data from ACS and attributing it to each census tract. We will work with the UACJ team to do the same thing in Mexico). With respect to assessing urbanization, a major issue of concern to our stakeholders, we plan to: 1) complete urbanization/land use classifications on an annual basis for the 25-year period 1990-2015, using the whole watershed boundary for the project region; 2) provide selected classified images for input to the SWAT-MODFLOW model for simulation of future land conversion/transition scenarios using agent-based modelling, cellular automata or other approaches; 3) provide 15m digital elevation model (DEM) for input to the SWAT-MODFLOW model; and 4) collect, process and harmonize water use data from Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico and provide it for input to the SWAT-MODFLOW model. The Online User Interface will be extended to include: a) a 20- to 50-year run horizon; b) storage and visualization of input climate scenario data; c) system interaction with excel; d) geo-referenced input/output visualizations; and e) comparison between different scenarios. Several field studies will provide data for modeling.These include:1) ongoing field projects on water reuse, irrigation water conservation, and soil salinity management; and 2) a new activity to compare irrigation and salinity management under different irrigation systems (flood, drip and micro sprinkler).A new Considerable work needs to be done to improve the estimation of ET for both the Bucket Model and SWAT. Objective 2. Climate scenarios. Test the Bucket model with a 20-year historical baseline developed from monthly averaged observations of upstream flow and estimates of surface hydrologic fluxes in our study area. As an initial test of climate change impacts to the water budget, modify the time series of historical observations described above by a simple projected trend (developed from climate model projections), while keeping the interannual variability fixed. Develop three projection-based future climate scenarios corresponding to severe projected climate change (RCP8.5), mitigated projected change (probably RCP2.6), and projected change in which a severe drought (either the 1950s drought, or a 'megadrought' inferred from paleoclimate records) is superimposed on a warming trend. Downscale the monthly averaged streamflow and surface flux data and projections to the daily time scale for use by SWAT. Objective 3. System Dynamics model. We will build a system dynamics simulation model beginning with a conceptual model of El Paso's water resources system, including water and wastewater treatment facilities and their daily operations to meet urban demand. We will also develop the cyberinfrastructure to make a test version of the model available online. In the future, this prototype will be expanded to include the total water system. Objective 4. Stakeholder engagement and participation. We plan a series of follow-up meetings with stakeholders to present and discuss modeling results, and introduce the model user interface. We envision a series of short workshops centered on the theme of climate effects to achieve the following: 1) present model validation results for Bucket Model and SWAT, and demonstrate the model with historical data on the worst drought of record (1950's); 2) present model results for a couple of projected climate scenarios and use the results as a platform for discussion of climate, water supply, and water demand; and 3) introduce the user interface. Objective 5. Dissemination. We will host the Water Symposium again in early 2018, including a poster paper session to allow our students to present their results. We will continue to make presentations to stakeholders as the demand/opportunity arises. We envision opportunities for demonstrating technologies through our field research including drip irrigation, water reuse, water conservation, and soil salinity management. Objective 6. Water resources education and institutional strengthening. UTEP will offer the new field methods course again in Fall, 2017, as well as the course in Water Resources Management in Civil Engineering.The instructors for both will incorporate the feedback that was received through the course evaluation conducted by the project evaluator to revise and update the content.UNM will also continue its new class on Climatic and Hydrologic Forecasting. We will develop a new course Water Resources Issues and Solutions, an interdisciplinary course based on problem-based learning.Students will work in teams to analyze a water resource issue/problem assigned to them and identify and assess potential solutions.The course will be pilot-tested at UTEP with plans to disseminate it to our other partners. We will host the Water Symposium again for students to present water-related research. We will continue the Water Resources Seminar Series at UTEP and NMSU and share some of these through video conferencing with UNM and/or MTU. We will continue to provide undergraduate internships at UTEP, UNM, and MTU. We are planning two new activities: 1) an integrated Art/Environmental Science course with a focus on water. This will be done in conjunction with two artists in residence at UTEP and UTEP's Rubin Center for Visual Arts entitled "New Cities, Future Ruins" addressing sustainability in the Sun Belt; and 2) participate in a high school/early undergraduate student engagement event addressing careers in water resources at request of local State Senator

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Objective 1. Model development, improvement, integration, validation. The project web portal (https://water.cybershare.utep.edu) has been further enhanced by creating a workspace so participants can directly share resources both internally and externally. Also, the first version of the modeling interface was developed and is available on the portal at: https://water.cybershare.utep.edu/bucket_2/. The modeling interface enables users to: i) define default or customized parameters representing human activities and climate scenarios, ii) seamlessly run the Bucket Model, and iii) graphically explore the outputs of the model and the sources and processing (provenance) of the data for validation purposes. Key advancements in the Bucket Model include: (a) definition of study area boundaries; (b) processing of NASA datasets to obtain local, historical climate inputs and output fluxes and accompanying local runoff; (c) development of physically-based aquifer-river channel exchange; (d) compilation of gauged flows in the project area; (e) preliminary identification of data sources for water withdrawals; (f) identification of preliminary climate scenarios; and (g) identification of key model inputs and outputs to be displayed in the model user interface. SWAT is being used to simulate surface water processes in the HUC 8 watershed that contains the Elephant Butte Irrigation District. The model simulates rainfall-runoff processes and streamflow routing, and recharge to groundwater, providing a tool for process-based modeling of the biophysical system whose outputs can be used as boundary condition for coarser-scale models. Efforts are underway to calibrate and validate the model with regional data to provide a basis for assessing water and land management impacts on water availability and flow.Also, we are converting the existing Hueco Bolson groundwater model, MODFLOW, to be linked with SWAT. Urban water use:Identified method for measuring water vulnerabilities for poor consumers: access; vulnerability to high cost water supply sources.UACJ team obtained urban water quality, supply, economics, and access data for Ciudad Juarez.A study of effects of positive, negative, and balanced framing information on attitudes toward direct potable reuse in El Paso was completed. We also conducted initial ethnographic fieldwork on small utilities. Using satellite imagery from the past 25 years, estimates of land conversion were made in the study area.This initial analysis forms the basis for modelling future scenarios of urbanization and its impacts on water use for the region.Also, we are assessing crop patterns, ET, land uses and water uses for agricultural production to improve the Bucket model and SWAT. Accomplishments on the Mexican side of the study area include:1) a field assessment of static and dynamic groundwater levels and water quality; b) a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) was developed; 3) development of land use and land cover maps using a combination of existing maps and LANDSAT images for the years 1985 to 2015; 4) development of a spatial distribution of the average evapotranspiration using the MODIS Evapotranspiration Data Set; and 5) the spatial distribution of soil types. Objective 2. Climate scenarios. Re-analyzed data observed from surface hydrologic data for the study area, including historic monthly values of precipitation, temperature, and surface evaporative fluxes in separate sub-basins of the study area to match the subdomains considered in the bucket model. Assessment of observed trends in snow-streamflow relationships in the Rio Grande headwaters to project inflows to Elephant Butte Reservoir.Expanded the historical baseline for observations of surface fluxes and upstream flows to the 20-year period 1991-2010. Projected flows at San Marcial for the 21st Century, derived from a large ensemble of climate models coupled to a surface hydrologic model were assessed and compiled. Objective 3. System Dynamics Model. A conceptual model of El Paso water resources system was developed for use in a system dynamics modeling framework. The stock and flow simulation model will provide a tool for evaluating future water management policies and associated impacts on different system performance metrics such as reliability, vulnerability, and resilience. Objective 4. Stakeholder engagement and participation. We conducted four stakeholder meetings, involving about 50 stakeholders.We presented results from the first round of stakeholder meetings regarding the vison of the future of water in the region, concerns and issues, and research questions of interest.We also presented an overview of each modeling tool, including the Bucket Model, SWAT, and MODFLOW.Stakeholders generally expressed some familiarity and trust in the models that we presented. A sample of residential consumers in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez was surveyed about water use and perceptions about the future of water.A study of the public policy process related to implementation of direct potable reuse by EPW was completed. We conducted one-on-one interviews with farmers to learn more about farmer decision making under conditions of limited water, and their resilience in the face of extreme drought. Objective 5. Dissemination. Stakeholders in southern New Mexico expressed an interest in water banking as a policy alternative to promote water conservation.A poster paper was presented at the NMWRRI conference; the abstract is posted on the web at: https://nmwaterconference.nmwrri.nmsu.edu/poster-abstract-guidelines/poster-abstracts/ We hosted a Water Symposium at UTEP and invited many of our stakeholders.We presented 33 poster papers summarizing some of our work. Presentations to local stakeholders:a)environmental consultative group of TX State Sen. Jose Rodríguez; b) Las Cruces Rotary Club; c)'Irrigation scheduling', Western Pecan Production Short Course, October, 2016; d) 'Measuring plant water status with a pressure chamber: a field demonstration', Western Pecan Production Short Course, Las Cruces, NM, October 19, 2016; e) 'Scheduling irrigations with a pressure chamber', Western Pecan Growers Association Conference and Tradeshow, Las Cruces, NM, March 8, 2016. Objective 6. Water resources education and institutional strengthening. New course at UTEP, "Regional Water Sustainability in a Changing Climate", was offered in Fall, 2016 at senior undergraduate and Masters graduate levels. The course combined field trips, laboratory techniques, lectures, discussions and data exercises.Through hands-on experiences and field trips, students were trained to collect data using state-of-the-art instruments and techniques, analyze their own data as well as larger, more complex datasets, and understand the importance of water resources in sustainable societies. A new graduate seminar course at UNM was developed, entitled Climatic and Hydrologic Forecasting, now in progress in the Spring 2017 semester; UNM PI Gutzler presented a well-attended (>150 people) departmental colloquium on hydroclimatic forecasting on 2 Sept. Dr. Mirchi at UTEP developed and taught a graduate level course in Water Resources Management (CE 6313) which was offered in Fall, 2016 in Civil Engineering, and developed a graduate level course in Surface Water Hydrology (CE 5340) to be offered in Spring, 2017. At MTU, a module on Rio Grande water resources was refined and presented in a 35-student undergraduate class on groundwater hydrology. A module also was developed for a 16-student graduate course on advanced hydrology. At NMSU, a seminar series was established beginning Fall 2016, with an emphasis on connections between water science, management, and policy.Five seminars were presented in the Fall, most dealing with land or water resource issues in New Mexico.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Eastoe, Christoper, Alfredo Granados-Olivas and Barry Hibbs, 2016. Tracers of Groundwater Mixing in the Hueco Bolson Aquifer, Ciudad Ju�rez, Mexico. Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Vol. XXII, No. 3, August 2016, pp. 195207
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Granados-Olivas, Alfredo, Luis Carlos Alatorre-Cejudo, David Adams, Yolande L. Serra, V�ctor Hugo Esquivel-Ceballos, Felipe Adri�n V�zquez-G�lvez, Maria Elena Giner, and Chris Eastoe, 2016. Runoff Modeling to Inform Policy Regarding Development of Green Infrastructure for Flood Risk Management and Groundwater Recharge Augmentation along an Urban Subcatchment, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, Special Issue: Groundwater in Urban Areas. Issue No. 159, December 2016. Pag. 50-61. ISSN 1936-7031
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Jones, S., and D.S. Gutzler, 2016: Spatial and seasonal variations in aridification across Southwest North America. Journal of Climate, v 29, 4637-4649.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Ward, F. A. (2016). Policy Challenges Facing Agricultural Water Use: An International Look. Water Economics and Policy, 3(2), 14.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Ram�rez-Villazana, O., A. Granados-Olivas, A. Pinales-Mungu�a. 2016. Clasificaci�n geoespacial de los indicadores del medio f�sico para la recarga del acu�fero Palomas-Guadalupe Victoria, Chihuahua, M�xico. TECNOCIENCIA Chihuahua 10(1): 32-38.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Ward, F. A., Crawford, T. L. (2016). Economic performance of irrigation capacity development to adapt to climate in the American Southwest. Journal of Hydrology, 540 (September 2016), 757-773.


Progress 03/01/15 to 02/29/16

Outputs
Target Audience:Our target audiences are all stakeholders wishing to guide the future of water in our region. We made a major and successful effort to identify and engage these stakeholders in Yr 1 of our project. This was achieved in two stages. First, we met with key leaders, agencies, and groups to introduce our project, obtain their reaction to our proposed activities, and solicit their guidance and collaboration in implementing the project. These key leaders, agencies, and groups included: 1) irrigation districts/associations in the region, including those in New Mexico, Texas, and Chihuahua; 2) key government agencies including the Bureau of Reclamation and the International Boundary and Water Commission; and 3) water utilities, including El Paso Water Utilities, Las Cruces Water Utility, and JMAS (Junta Municipal de Agua y Saneamiento) in Juárez. This initial contact/meeting was followed by focus group meetings with key stakeholders, including: Small scale Texas farmers Large scale Texas farmers Small scale New Mexico farmers Large scale New Mexico farmers Chihuahua (Mexico) farmers Urban/industrial users from El Paso, Las Cruces, and Ciudad Juárez U.S. Government agencies, state and federal Environmental stakeholders (mainly NGOs) Social justice stakeholders (mainly NGOs) A meeting with Mexican government stakeholders is planned for early 2016. These groups are considered not only target audiences for our work, but also key participants in our work. The majority of stakeholders who participated in focus groups (about 90%) indicated that they wanted to be involved in the project on a continuing basis and wanted to receive results from the project. Over 100 individuals participated in the focus groups, many representing key groups and agencies who have a stake in the future of water in our region. Changes/Problems:Some requested changes are described below. Model development, testing, and validation - We had anticipated using "off the shelf" models for our work.A key model that we planned to use, Riverware, is not yet tested sufficiently and not currently in the public domain for our use.We have changed our plans to using: 1) the simple Bucket Model that we developed ourselves for some answering some large-scale questions and 2) the integrated SWAT-MODFLOW for others.SWAT-MODFLOW will require some modifications.Though we had planned to have ready to use models by the end of Yr 1, we will be further developing and validating the Bucket Model and modifying and validating SWAT-MODFLOW during Yr 2.This represents some delay but not a significant delay to meeting the milestones of our project. Education and institutional strengthening - We had a 10% budget cut in Yr 1 and we mainly eliminated some of the student activities to meet the budget cut.However, we are on track to catch up and implement a number of activities in Yr 2, including two new courses at UTEP, continuation of the Water Resources Seminar Series, a student symposium, undergraduate student internships, and development of a new problem-based learning graduate course.This represents a change in our expected outputs in Yr 1. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?We list below all the individuals who have received training or professional development. In addition to these, we have listed and described accomplishments in education and institutional strengthening under Objective #6 in the Accomplishments section of the report. UTEP Omar Sulaiman Belhaj, Ph.D. student, Env Sci & Eng (ESE) program - reviewed and summarized literature; collected and collated model input data Paul Brian Guerrero, M.A. student, Latin America & Border Studies - reviewed literature and co-designed household consumer interview questionnaire, performed household consumer interviews, assisted with stakeholder meetings, researched direct potable reuse Izel Barraza, M.A. student, Latin America & Border Studies - reviewed literature and co-designed household consumer interview questionnaire Estrella Molina, Ph.D. Student, ESE Program - reviewed Riverware model; described data needs; contributed data Luis Chavez Garnica, M.S. student, Comp Sci. - enhanced web portal to capture provenance of data and additional metadata for models Armando Reyes, M.S. student, Comp. Sci. - worked on web portal Erick Garcia, B.S., Computer Science - worked on definition of metadata for the web portal NMSU Cody Runyan, M.S., Water Science & Management Program - reviewed pecan orchard irrigation and water conservation literature; learned experimental techniques and equipment, planned irrigation experiments Margie Vela, Ph.D. student, Water Science & Management Program - reviewed literature, formulated water education plans Sarah Sayles, Ph.D. Student, Water Science & Management Program - took notes at stakeholder meetings, built prototype farm income optimization model, reviewed and developed irrigator survey questions. Befekadu Habteyes, Ph.D. Student, Water Science & Management Program - assembled data and developed basin scale water economics optimization model Sarah Acquah, Ph.D. Student, Water Science & Management Program - assembled data and developed basin scale infrastructure expansion model Dina Salman, Ph.D. Student, Water Science & Management Program - developed prototype groundwater economic optimization model Miranda Cisneros, B.S. student, Agricultural Economics & Agricultural Business Program - entered water supply and use data into spreadsheets Hugo Luis Rojas Villalobos, PhD candidate, Water Science & Management Program - administration of GIS data Olga Rodriguez, M.S. student, Water Science & Management Program - data compilation and analyses for model inputs TAMU Shalamu Abudu, Postdoctoral Research Associate - conducted modeling research on hydrological aspects Carlos Castro, B.S. student - analyzed baseline properties of pecan field soils, installed irrigation sensors and data loggers, collected sensor data during the irrigation season Nesa Serrano, B.S. student - analyzed baseline properties of pecan field soils, installed irrigation sensors and data loggers, collected sensor data during the irrigation season Monique Ontiveros, B.S. student - analyzed baseline properties of pecan field soils, installed irrigation sensors and data loggers, collected sensor data during the irrigation season Joh Clark, Research Technician - managed data collected from field experiments UACJ Victor Hugo Esquivel Ceballos, PhD candidate, Urban Planning Doctoral Program - collected and processed hydrometeorological data from regional weather stations Arturo Soto Ontiveros, PhD candidate, Urban Planning Doctoral Program - collected and processed groundwater data from official sources and evaluating ModFlow Ana Cristina Garcia Vasquez, M.S. student, Environmental Engineering - collected and analyzed groundwater quality data Oscar Ramirez Villazana,M.S. student - Environmental Engineering - Defined number of aquifer layers for the project through aquifer characterization using geophysics Alexis Gabriel Rodriguez Sanchez, B.S. student, Environmental Engineering - reviewed literature and reviewed SWAT model Angel Rafael Chavez Rodriguez, B.S. student, Geoinformatics - analyzed LULC geodata UNM Fawn Brooks, PhD student, Earth & Planetary Sci (EPS) Department - reviewed literature on intermittent streams in the project study area; collected streamflow data Shaleene Chavarria, MS student, EPS Department - collected streamflow data, analyzed seasonal streamflow forecasts on the upper Rio Grande John Carilli, B.S. student, Physics Department - processed surface hydrologic data for bucket model development MTU LaurenMancewicz, B.S. student, Environmental Engineering, - reviewed literature on water withdrawals, collected input data Leila Saberi, PhD student, Environmental Engineering - assisted in conceptualization of models Professional Development Dr. Stanley Mubako, UTEP, successfully completed a one-week training course in Statistical Downscaling of Global Climate Models using the SDSM 5.2 model under support provided by this project, from December 7-11, 2015 at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, Front Royal, Virginia. The training focused on the use and application of this decision support tool for assessing local level climate change impacts, and was led by facilitators from the University of Prince Edward Island and University of Toronto in Canada, and Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. Capacity building accomplishments from the course include the ability to (1) access, carry out quality control, and statistically analyze climate data; (2) prepare scenarios of future climate change through ensemble and validation techniques; (3) download and use the SDSM 5.2 software to create a statistical model of climate observations for a region of interest; (4) create site-specific high-resolution scenarios of future climate change; and (5) understand applications of statistically-downscaled model results. Two students from UACJ in Mexico were trained in how to map cultivated areas using drones. One faculty member at UACJ in Mexico received Water Harvesting Design Certification. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?[See Accomplishments under Objective 5 - Dissemination] What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Objective 1. Model development, improvement, integration, validation. 1. The "one bucket model" is scheduled to be up scaled to a two-bucket and later a three-bucket model (representing the different aquifers and the river that interacts with them) that accounts for groundwater pumping, groundwater aquifer recharge, and water quality adjustments. In addition, climate data sets, water withdrawal data, and other relevant data are being assembled for use as model inputs. The model will be tested and validated in the coming year. Model validation will include model comparisons against actual surface inflows, changes in reservoir storage, reservoir releases, water used in agriculture, and water used for urban water supply for each year in the model's time horizon. 2. USDA-ARS (Reno, OK) has recently produced an integrated surface-groundwater model by combining SWAT and MODFLOW. We plan to work with the team that produced this integrated model to test and validate the model for the Middle Rio Grande Basin. The integrated model needs to be modified to simulate salt fate and transport. We will work with the USDA-ARS team to collect the necessary data and make modifications to the SWAT-MODFLOW model to simulate salinization. Bringing salinization processes into the SWAT-MODFLOW model represents a significant advance that will make this modeling suite more applicable to desert river systems common in the Middle East, South Central Asia, North Africa, and the west coast of both North and South America. 3. We will complete the urbanization/land use classification study that has been initiated. We want to ensure that the SWAT-MODFLOW model can be used to simulate land conversion/transition and the concomitant water use. We will inventory data needed for projecting current land use into the future, based on the current trends over time. We will evaluate the need for cellular automata or other approaches. We will use the results of our analyses to identify major land use types and assign water use to be used in the SWAT-MODFLOW model. We will develop rules for conversion of land to riparian uses, and develop storylines for particular stakeholder groups: e.g., farmers, environmental groups, academics. Objective 2. Climate scenarios. 1. In addition to the "standard" scenario that has been described using the CMIP3 A1B scenario of increasing greenhouse gases, we will develop scenarios of projected climate change to be tested for model sensitivity and impacts on water resources, including: a) the CMIP5 RCP8.5 scenario featuring a more rapid increase in greenhouse gases, with correspondingly more rapid climate change; b) a scenario based on successful future implementation and extension of the COP21 Paris agreements resulting in a smaller magnitude climate change scenario; and c) climate variability corresponding to the 1950s drought, superimposed on climate change corresponding to A1B or RCP8.5 scenarios; this scenario would describe the intensification of severe drought under climate change; 2. Dendrochronological reconstructions of upper Rio Grande flows will be examined to consider extreme historical droughts, such as the drought at the turn of the 20th Century, or "megadroughts" in the late 1600s, etc. 3. Characterizing and predicting summer climate conditions, such as projected changes to the frequency and intensity of intense rainfall, are huge challenges for current models. In the short term, we will deal with this component of hydroclimate in a simple scenario fashion. For example, we will just assume something about the statistics of summer rainfall going forward and test the sensitivity of the bucket model to prescribed changes in summer precipitation statistics. The prescribed changes could be very simple, with minimal justification. Objective 3. Dynamic systems model. [Activities on this objective will come later after there is more progress on Objs. 1 & 2] Objective 4. Stakeholder engagement and participation. 1. We plan follow up meetings with the stakeholder groups established in Yr 1. At the follow up meetings, we will share results from the first focus group and the online surveys back to the stakeholders for feedback. We will also present a way forward for our modeling work, discussing the key scenarios to be tested and some of the key questions to be addressed using the Bucket Model and the integrated SWAT-Modflow model. Also, we will present preliminary results from the urbanization analyses. 2. We plan one-on-one interviews with farmers to learn more about farmer decision making under conditions of limited water, and their resilience in the face of extreme drought. In addition, we will examine how forces like markets, insurance, and availability of resources affect farmer decisions. Also of interest is understanding which sources of information farmers find most useful in making decisions and how those sources have influenced farm decisions over the past decade or more. An interview instrument has been designed to elicit discussion of on-farm decision making and production history over the past 10-12 years, and plans for facing extreme weather events in the future. Interviews will commence shortly. Objective 5. Dissemination. Activities: 1. See above under "Stakeholder engagement and participation". Results from focus groups will be shared back with stakeholders. Objective 6. Water resources education and institutional strengthening. 1. We will implement the new field methods course at UTEP in fall, 2016 and offer a course in Water Resources Management in Civil Engineering, taught by the new strategic hire at UTEP. 2. During summer, 2016, we will develop a new course Water Resources Issues and Solutions, an interdisciplinary course based on problem-based learning. Students will work in teams to analyze a water resource issue/problem assigned to them and identify and assess potential solutions. We plan to share the course with our partner universities by video conference. 3. We will plan and host a student symposium in January, 2017, for students to present water-related research. 4. We will continue the Water Resources Seminar Series at UTEP and will offer some of the seminars via video conferencing to other sites in our consortium. 5. We will provide five undergraduate students at UTEP with internships. Internships will either provide undergraduates with research experiences or place students in water management agencies in the region, including the Bureau of Reclamation, Irrigation Management Districts, and others. Undergraduate research opportunities will be provided through UTEP or participating institutions. In addition to the training aspect of internships, they are also aimed at recruiting students into graduate studies in water resources or water-related degree programs.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Objective 1. Model development, improvement, integration, validation. A web portal has been created that includes: a) a website with standard information about the project; b) a data bank that provides capabilities to upload, access, and store data; c) ability to do online modeling; and d) education and outreach materials. http://water.cybershare.utep.edu A simple coarse-scale basin model that simulates all the major sources, sinks, uses, and losses of water for the Rio Grande has been constructed.Termed by our team "the bucket model", this model has been and will be a useful tool for improving our understanding of the basin and planning our analyses of more specific questions and problems that are important to stakeholders. Eight modeling work groups have been formed, each one focused on different modeling tasks that need to be addressed.They include: a) Testing and implementing SWAT/MODFLOW/Bucket Model; b) Salt fate and transport/salinization; c) Land transition; d) Scenario formulation; e) Alternative decision-making; f) Online modeling system; g) Riparian impacts; and h) Human wellbeing. The team has initiated an analysis of urbanization in the region. In the first round of stakeholder meetings, stakeholders identified urbanization as a major concern.Concerns stemmed from conversion of agricultural land to urban uses and loss of agriculture as a way of life; and conversion of water rights from agricultural uses to urban uses.Using satellite imagery from the past 25 years, estimates of land conversion were made in the area around El Paso and Las Cruces.This initial analysis forms the basis for modelling future scenarios of urbanization and its impacts on water use for the region. Objective 2. Climate scenarios. As a starting point for projected climate change, it was decided to use the CMIP3 A1B scenario of increasing greenhouse gases. Data collection and post-processing of surface hydrologic data for study area, including historic monthly values of precipitation, temperature, and surface evaporative fluxes. Data collection and preliminary analysis of trends in upper Rio Grande streamflow and assessment of seasonal streamflow forecasts for the Rio Grande (S. Chavarria) Our analysis determined the three recent test years to be used in bucket model development; data acquisition and analysis were carried out to derive and compile the surface hydrologic values needed for the model. Objective 3. Dynamic systems model. [No direct activities on this objective to report; more direct activity on this objective will come later in the project.However, the work of the modeling teams described above for Objective 1 is advancing our stepwise progress towards a systems dynamic model.] Objective 4. Stakeholder engagement and participation. We conducted a comprehensive literature review of best practices in participatory water modeling with over 70 scholarly items reviewed.This literature review has guided and will guide our design of stakeholder engagement and participation in modeling activities as we move forward. We conducted a total of nine stakeholder meetings, involving a total of 109 stakeholders.Each meeting was conducted as a focus group with six predetermined questions, the same for each group.Each of the nine groups was comprised of individuals from a common sector and included one focus group session each for: Small scale Texas farmers Large scale Texas farmers Small scale New Mexico farmers Large scale New Mexico farmers Chihuahua (Mexico) farmers Urban/industrial users from El Paso, Las Cruces, and Ciudad Juárez U.S. Government agencies, state and federal Environmental stakeholders (mainly NGOs) Social justice stakeholders (mainly NGOs) For each stakeholder focus group, a process evaluation survey was also conducted.The results were analyzed by the external evaluator for the project. (See Attachment 4 for Evaluator's Report). An online survey was also provided as a follow-up to each meeting.These online surveys are still in progress.The online survey is aimed at assessing stakeholders' values and perceptions about water use and water sustainability in the region. A sample of residential consumers in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez was surveyed about water use and perceptions about the future of water.A study of the public policy process related to implementation of direct potable reuse as a technology/policy option by the Public Service Board in El Paso was initiated.We conducted a review of relevant documents and also face-to-face interviews with key actors/informants and residential consumers.This study is still in progress. Objective 5. Dissemination. Stakeholders in southern New Mexico expressed an interest in water banking as a policy alternative to promote water conservation.In order to inform local stakeholders about the goals, scope, and limitations of water banking, the project co-hosted a one-day workshop on water banking with the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute.The workshop was held on November 12, 2015 in Las Cruces, NM.More information is available at:http://waterbank.nmsu.edu/speaker-slides/ Objective 6. Water resources education and institutional strengthening. We developed a water resources seminar series at UTEP during the fall semester, 2015.We hosted six special seminars. We have developed a new course at UTEP entitled Regional water sustainability in a changing climate. At MTU, a module on Rio Grande water resources was developed for the undergraduate hydrogeology course.See http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2015/may/working-together-build-drought-resiliency.html We developed baseline indicators for measuring our progress in water resources education and institutional strengthening. As part of its commitment to institutional strengthening, UTEP has hired Dr. Ali Mirchi,

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