Elia Tapia's Abstracts

Elia Tapia
Arid Lands Resource Sciences
Ph.D. Student

Conference Summary
IWRA XVI World Water Congress
Cauncun, Mexico

 

Lay Abstract

The Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program and the San Pedro River Aquifer Binational Report for the United States and Mexico.

Groundwater is a valuable source that needs to be properly managed with policies that reflect the needs for the people and the environment. When we deal with binational aquifers we add two different countries to the equation and a better understanding of the shared waters can lead to better management practices for both countries.  
The Binational Study of the Transboundary San Pedro Aquifer is a milestone output of the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP) for the United States and Mexico. Through this program, both countries contributed scientific knowledge and binational scientific data. Participant organizations include universities in the United States and Mexico, in addition to state and federal agencies from both countries. The report compiles and creates a database of scientific information and identifies data gaps and information to be updated in subsequent phases.  
The San Pedro Report is the first-ever binational aquifer assessment prepared and released simultaneously in English and Spanish by the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) and the objective of this poster is to present the results of the report. This study is an example of how successful international agreements can lead to the development of a binational scientific study where two nations worked together for common benefit: To understand the water systems that they currently share.

Abstract

The Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program and the San Pedro River Aquifer Binational Report for the United States and Mexico.

Groundwater from aquifers is used for different purposes. An aquifer is a multidimensional space where social, economic, political, cultural and environmental needs interact together; and every action has a repercussion to the whole system. When assessing groundwater in a single country, the distribution of the resource is shared among the different users; while a transboundary aquifer deals with the same distribution across two different countries. The United States and Mexico share rivers, basins and aquifers, and a 3200 km long border with a 100 km by 100 km transect (north to south) represent the borderland of both countries.  
Problems such as the increasing population, limited water availability, water quality deterioration, decreasing groundwater levels, lack of binational water management policies, drought conditions, and the effects of global climate change are negatively impacting the groundwater reservoirs in the arid and semi-arid regions that represent the US-Mexico borderlands. The situation points to the importance of developing binational studies to assess groundwater conditions so that informed groundwater management policies can be developed and implemented.   
The binational United States-Mexico Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP) was officially launched on August 19, 2009. The Mexican and U.S. Principal Engineers of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) signed the “Joint Report of the Principal Engineers Regarding the Joint Cooperative Process United States-Mexico for the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program".  This IBWC “Joint Report” serves as the framework for U.S.-Mexico coordination and dialogue to implement transboundary aquifer studies.
The objective of this poster is to present the San Pedro River Aquifer Binational Report as a milestone output of the TAAP. In this report, the United States and Mexico seek to contribute with scientific knowledge and binational data on climate, geology, soils, land cover, land use, and hydrology for the San Pedro aquifer.  The report compiles and creates a database of scientific information from both countries, and identifies data gaps and information to be updated for subsequent phases.  
The participant agencies include the United States and Mexican sections of the IBWC, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) and University of Sonora, Mexico.
The major findings of the project will be presented, in addition to the GIS efforts to generate a binational cartography for the study area, and recommendations from the binational working team to achieve a better understanding of the transboundary aquifer system. This study is an example of how successful international agreements can lead to the development of a binational scientific report where two nations worked together for common benefit.

Last updated 16 Jun 2017