395403 - Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Surface Water Hydrologic Processes In New Mexico-Texas-Mexico Border Region
Tuesday, June 5
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Lake Superior B
Tahneen Jahan Neelam, El Paso, Tx – University of Texas at El Paso; Ali Mirchi, El Paso, TX – The University of Texas at El Paso
Watershed modeling facilitates informed water resources management. Understanding the magnitude and timing of hydrologic fluxes, and natural and anthropogenic processes that govern water availability is key for allocation of limited water resources to competing sectors in arid regions. In this study, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is applied to model an agricultural watershed facing water resources challenges in a portion of the Middle Rio Grande Basin located in the New Mexico-Texas-Mexico border region where agricultural activities rely on the conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater supply. The model is calibrated and validated under baseline conditions in the arid climate to evaluate potential impacts of climate change. Climate change scenarios are based on downscaled temperature and precipitation projections, as well as projected inflows to Elephant Butte Reservoir, the main surface water source in the Middle Rio Grande Basin. Simulation of key components of the regional water budget, including streamflow, ET, and recharge improves understanding of regional water availability under climate change scenarios. The model is useful for exploring the impact of different water and land management strategies to cope with extreme climatic events.