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A socio-environmental geodatabase for integrative research in the transboundary Rio Grande/Río Bravo basin

March 6, 2020

Management of water resources in the transboundary Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin (the Basin) presents challenges for state and Federal entities in the United States and Mexico making management decisions on shared water resources. Damming, channelization, water availability, and allocation are governed by water rights and water-sharing agreements. Data and information sharing are important aspects of transboundary cooperation, but differences in format, content, spatial and temporal resolution, and language hinder collaboration. In addition, data on the kinds and geographic distribution of water governance and management institutions across the Basin have not been consistently documented. Existing data disparities parallel the hydrological and social fragmentation of the Basin.

Seeking to underscore the interdependence between social and environmental processes in the Basin, anthropologists and modelers collaborated to develop a socio-environmental geodatabase. This geodatabase is a first step in modeling the social components of decision making and their connectivity to environmental processes across the Basin. The geodatabase is available in an open-access domain and contains geospatial data related to water and land governance, hydrology, water use and hydraulic infrastructure, socioeconomics, and the biophysical environment necessary to advance the understanding of basin dynamics. Having these data documented and compiled in a central location serves as a resource to help decision makers better understand upstream and downstream social-environmental characteristics. This knowledge is useful for developing sustainable water management policies in a region where water resources are increasingly under pressure from climatic, environmental, and human-related changes.

Publication Year 2020
Title A socio-environmental geodatabase for integrative research in the transboundary Rio Grande/Río Bravo basin
Authors Jennifer Villa
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Series Title CCAST Case Study on Actionable Science
Index ID 70227752
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center