• APPLICATION OF A GROUND-WATER FLOW MODEL TO THE MESILLA BASIN, NEW MEXICO AND TEXAS

      Hamilton, Susan Lynne, 1964-; Maddock, Thomas III; Department of Hydrology & Water Resources, The University of Arizona (Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1993)
      It has been said that watersheds and aquifers ignore political boundaries. This phenomenon is often the reason for extensive regulation of surface -water and ground -water resources which are shared by two or more political entities. Regulation is often the result of years of litigation over who really owns the water, how much is owned, and how much is available for future use. Groundwater models are sometimes used as quantitative tools which aid in the decision making process regarding appropriation and regulation of these scarce, shared, water resources. The following few paragraphs detail the occurrences in the Lower Rio Grande Basin which led to the current ground -water modeling effort. New Mexico, Texas and Mexico have wrestled forever over the rights to the Lower Rio Grande and the aquifers of the Rio Grande Basin (Figure 1). As early as 1867, due to a flood event on the Rio Grande, Texas and Mexico were disputing the new border created by the migrating Rio Grande. During the 1890's, the users upstream from the Mesilla and El Paso Valleys were diverting and applying so much of the Rio Grande that the Mesilla and El Paso valley farmers litigated in order to apportion and guarantee the supply. In the recent past, disputes over who may use the ground -water resources of the region and the effect of surface- water uses on aquifer water levels resulted in litigation between El Paso, Texas, and New Mexico.