The Rio Grande Transboundary Integrated Hydrologic Model (RGTIHM) was developed through an interagency effort between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation to provide a tool for analyzing the hydrologic system response to the historical evolution of water use and potential changes in water supplies and demands in the Hatch Valley (also known as Rincon Valley in the study area) and Mesilla Basin, New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico. Reclamation operates the Rio Grande Project (RGP) to store and deliver surface water for irrigation and municipal use within the study area and in the El Paso Valley south of the El Paso Narrows.
Biases in the RGTIHM’s simulation of streamflow and aquifer storage depletion and the availability of new estimates of historical agricultural consumptive use in the study area initiated an update and recalibration of the RGTIHM. In addition to the new estimates of historical agricultural consumptive use, updates were made to more accurately represent the natural system and included adjustments to the initial groundwater levels; streamflow rating tables; Rio Grande, canal, and drain streambed elevations; tributary streambed elevations; surface-water inflows and diversions; RGP surface-water deliveries and canal waste; on-farm efficiency; the routing of surface-water runoff within the MODFLOW Farm Process; and general head boundaries used to simulate interbasin groundwater flow. Model settings, including the assignment of hydraulic conductivity and storage properties to model layers and the MODFLOW solver package, were adjusted to improve numerical stability, and the model was recalibrated to better simulate the natural system. The updated and recalibrated RGTIHM demonstrates a robust ability to simulate the spatially and temporally variable measurements, estimates, or reports of hydraulic head, surface-water flows, agricultural pumping, RGP surface-water deliveries and canal waste, and decadal aquifer storage changes, with improvements over the previous version of the model.
|Title||Update and recalibration of the Rio Grande Transboundary Integrated Hydrologic Model, New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico|
|Authors||Andre B. Ritchie, Amy E. Galanter, Allison K. Flickinger, Zachary M. Shephard, Ian M. Ferguson|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||New Mexico Water Science Center|