Along the United States–Mexican border, the health of communities, economies, and ecosystems is inextricably intertwined with the availability and quality of water, but effective water management in the Borderlands is complicated. Water users compete for resources, and their needs are increasing. Managers are faced with issues such as finding a balance between agriculture and rapidly growing cities or maintaining public supplies while ensuring sufficient resources for aquatic ecosystems. In addition to human factors, the dry climate of the Borderlands, as compared to more temperate regions, also increases the challenge of balancing water supplies between humans and ecosystems. Warmer, drier, and more variable conditions across the southwestern United States—the projected results of climate change (Seager and others, 2007)—would further stress water supplies.
Challenge theme 2: assuring water availability and quality in the 21st century: Chapter 4 in United States-Mexican Borderlands: Facing tomorrow's challenges through USGS science