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Ss21 Water Security Of The Groundwater-dependent Santa Cruz Active Management Area Arizona, Usa

World Water Congress 2015 Edinburgh Scotland
Special session 21: The Battle To Frame Water Security
Author(s): Sharon B. Megdal
Sharon B. Megdal, Ph.D.. Director
Email: smegdal@email.arizona.edu
Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona
World Water Congress, Edinburgh, Scotland 26 May 2015



Water management and water security

  • Groundwater dependence in the border region known as Ambos Nogales
  • Santa Cruz River flows depend on precipitation events and, in some portions, effluent flows
  • Different water management regimes on the two sides of the border and lack of a binational water management framework, though good cooperation through the International Boundary and Water Commission.
  • Within the region, there are shallow groundwater basins, where recharge and water in storage are highly dependent on changing precipitation patterns and pumping regimes
  • Binational effluent collection, outflows, and recharge are of importance but beyond the scope of this presentation

Two projects in this US-MX border region

  • Transboundary aquifer assessment study (TAAP)
    • Federal-university partnership
    • US State of Arizona and Mexican State of Sonora
    • Santa Cruz aquifer is one of the two aquifers for which binational reports are in final stages of preparation
  • Project funded by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Groundwater, Climate and Stakeholder Engagement (GCASE)


Concluding Remarks

  • Additional work is being done on groundwater scenarios on the US side of the border in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Water Resources
  • Groundwater management in the U.S. is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. states, so any approach to binational management requires federal and state cooperation
  • Potential for the GCASE approach to be applied in Sonora, Mexico
  • The transboundary aquifer assessment report will provide binationallyagreed upon baseline information
  • In the US, there is increasing understanding of the role of groundwater in meeting water needs and that drought is a serious concern
  • These concerns should be recognized for groundwater-dependent communities, both large and small
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