The economics of aquifer protection plans under climate water stress: New insights from hydroeconomic modeling
Authors: Frank A. Ward, Alex S. Mayer, Luis A. Garnica, Nolan T. Townsend, David S, Gutzler
Subject: Water Management
Date: Saturday 29th June 2019
Abstract/Description: Where surface and groundwater are managed conjunctively, the stress on water supplies from climate change can significantly influence water use patterns as well as the economic value and sustainability of those uses. However, aquifer protection can be an expensive proposition because water uses that currently rely on aquifer pumping may produce considerable economic value that would be lost if protection measures are carried out. Evidence from climate-stressed regions has attracted research addressing the costs and benefits of aquifer protection plans. Despite these efforts, few peer-reviewed papers have examined water use patterns that minimize the economic costs of aquifer protection. This work presents an original approach to address that gap by developing and applying a basin scale hydroeconomic optimization model of North America’s Middle Rio Grande Basin to explore impacts of new policies not yet implemented supporting aquifer protection. It also gives model access to readers or stakeholders to experiment with their own scenarios to assess impacts of alternative aquifer protection plans. The model accounts for surface and groundwater storage, irrigation, urban, environmental, and recreational demands, surface water inflows under various climate scenarios, groundwater pumping and recharge, substitute water prices, crop water use, evaporation, as well as institutional constraints governing water use. The objective is implemented by finding the optimized discounted net present value of economic benefits summed over uses, sectors, and regions from use of surface water and connected aquifers. Results are shown for each of six water supply scenarios, two substitute water prices, and two system operation rules. To address impacts of aquifer protection targets, groundwater sustainability targets are specified and enforced as constraints for each of the region’s two major aquifers. We assess total and marginal cost of achieving two targeted aquifer protection levels by identifying optimized surface use and groundwater pumping for each of 24 scenarios. Results show that climate change, in the form of reduced and highly variable inflows, considerably drives up the cost of protecting aquifer sustainability, amplified by the conjunctive nature of the system. Future work points to a need to assess economic performance of various water conservation measures as well as reducing costs of substitute water through measures such as technical advance in desalination, recycling and reuse, substitution of other resources for water, better characterization of existing aquifers, and development of new groundwater supplies.
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Capturing Scientific Knowledge for Water Resources Sustainability in the Rio Grande Area
Authors: Natalia Villanueva-Rosales, Luis Garnica Chavira, Smriti Tamrakar, Deana Pennington, Raul Alejandro Vargas-Acosta, Frank Ward, Alex s. Mayer
Subject: Water Knowledge Capture
Source: Second International Workshop on Capturing Scientific Knowledge
Date: Tuesday 4th December 2018
Abstract/Description: This paper presents our experience in capturing scientific knowledge for enabling the creation of user-defined modeling scenarios that combine availability and use of water resources with potential climate in the middle Rio Grande region. The knowledge representation models in this project were created and validated by an international, interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers. These models enable the automated generation of water optimization models and visualization of output data and provenance traces that support the reuse of scientific knowledge. Our efforts include an educational and outreach component to enable students and a wide variety of stakeholders (e.g., farmers, city planners, and general public) to access and run water models. Our approach, the Integrated Water Sustainability Modeling Framework, uses ontologies and light-weight standards such as JSON-LD to enable the exchange of data across the different components of the system and third-party tools, including modeling and visualization tools. Future work includes the ability to automatically integrate further models (i.e., model integration).
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Treated urban wastewater irrigation effects on bioenergy sorghum biomass, quality, and soil salinity in an arid environment
Authors: Girisha Ganjegunte, April Ulery, Genhua Niu, Yanqi Wu
Subject: Soil Degradation
Source: Land Degradation
Date: Thursday 1st November 2018
Abstract/Description: Land degradation due to elevated salinity and sodicity is a serious problem affecting many irrigated regions of the world. Salinity coupled with freshwater scarcity has forced many farmers in arid regions to abandon agricultural lands. This study evaluated irrigation potential of marginal quality treated urban wastewater to produce bioenergy sorghum on saline soils collected from an abandoned degraded salt affected lands in Texas and New Mexico under greenhouse conditions. Study results indicated that the energy sorghum biomass production and quality under wastewater irrigation were comparable to that irrigated with freshwater on nonsaline soils. Soil salinity especially in the subsurface increased over time under wastewater irrigation compared to that under freshwater irrigation. Soil sodicity (measured by sodium adsorption ratios) increased over time in all water–soil treatment combinations. Sodicity values were higher in treatments that received wastewater irrigation with no addition of calcium to counter sodium. Although sodicity exceeded the threshold value, no impairment in soil permeability was observed. Study results indicated a great potential for marginal quality water irrigation to improve degraded saline land productivity. Further field studies are required to confirm our greenhouse study results and the potential of bioenergy crops especially on saline soils and to highlight treated wastewater as a potential irrigation source.
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Semi-structured Knowledge Models and Web Service Driven Integration for Online Execution and Sharing of Water Sustainability Models
Authors: Luis Garnica Chavira, Jose Caballero, Natalia Villanueva Rosales, Deana Pennington
Subject: Modeling and Software
Source: Luis Garnica Chavira, Jose Caballero, Natalia Villanueva Rosales, Deana Pennington
Date: Wednesday 27th June 2018
Abstract/Description: The wide variety in descriptions, implementations, and accessibility of scientific models poses a huge challenge for model interoperability. Model interoperability is key in the automation of tasks including model integration, seamless access to distributed models, data reuse and repurpose. Current approaches for model interoperability include the creation of generic standards and vocabularies to describe models, their inputs and outputs. These domain-agnostic standards often do not provide the fine-grained level required to describe a specific domain or task, and extending such standards requires a considerable amount of effort and time that is deviated from the purpose of producing scientific breakthrough and results. This paper presents a semi-structured, knowledge-based framework implemented with a service-driven architecture: The Sustainable Water through Integrated Modelling Framework (SWIM). SWIM is part of an ongoing effort to expose water sustainability models on the Web with the goal of enabling stakeholder engagement and participatory modelling. SWIM is a science-driven platform, leveraged by the technology advances on service-oriented architectures (SOA), schemaless database managers (NoSQL) and widely used Web-based frontend frameworks. The SWIM semi-structured knowledge model is flexible enough to adapt on-the-go as the underlying water sustainability models grow in complexity. SWIM fosters the sharing and reuse of data and models generated in the system by providing the descriptions of models, inputs, and outputs of each run using relevant metadata mapped to widely-used standards with JSON-LD, a JSON extension for linked data.
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Observed Changes in Climate and Streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande Basin
Authors: Shaleene B. Chavarria, David S. Gutzler
Subject: Hydrology
Source: Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Date: Sunday 3rd June 2018
Abstract/Description: Observed streamflow and climate data are used to test the hypothesis that climate change is already affecting Rio Grande streamflow volume derived from snowmelt runoff in ways consistent with model‐based projections of 21st‐Century streamflow. Annual and monthly changes in streamflow volume and surface climate variables on the Upper Rio Grande, near its headwaters in southern Colorado, are assessed for water years 1958–2015. Results indicate winter and spring season temperatures in the basin have increased significantly, April 1 snow water equivalent (SWE) has decreased by approximately 25%, and streamflow has declined slightly in the April–July snowmelt runoff season. Small increases in precipitation have reduced the impact of declining snowpack on trends in streamflow. Changes in the snowpack–runoff relationship are noticeable in hydrographs of mean monthly streamflow, but are most apparent in the changing ratios of precipitation (rain snow, and SWE) to streamflow and in the declining fraction of runoff attributable to snowpack or winter precipitation. The observed changes provide observational confirmation for model projections of decreasing runoff attributable to snowpack, and demonstrate the decreasing utility of snowpack for predicting subsequent streamflow on a seasonal basis in the Upper Rio Grande Basin.
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Soil quality changes due to flood irrigation in agricultural fields along the Rio Grande in western Texas
Authors: Cox, C., L. Jin, G. K. Ganjegunte, D. Borrok, V. Lougheed, and L. Ma
Subject: GeoChemistry
Source: Applied Geochemistry Journal
Date: Thursday 1st March 2018
Abstract/Description: Growing populations demand more food, putting more pressure on soil productivity and sustainability around the world. In western Texas along the Rio Grande Valley, the low natural rainfall requires frequent irrigations for sustaining agriculture. To investigate the impacts of irrigation on soil quality, we collected and modelled geochemical data (major elements and nutrients) on irrigation water, soil pore water, drainage water, and soil samples, and monitored soil moisture, temperature, and electrical conductivity with sensors from two pecan, one cotton, and one alfalfa fields in western Texas.
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Organic carbon, nutrient, and salt dynamics in saline soil and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) irrigated with treated municipal wastewater
Authors: Ganjegunte, G.K., G. Niu, A. Ulery, Y. Wu.
Subject: Environmental Science
Source: Land Degradation
Date: Friday 27th October 2017
Abstract/Description: A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of treated municipal wastewater irrigation on soil organic carbon (SOC), soil macronutrients, Na, Cl, and SO4 dynamics in soil as well as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) shoots under greenhouse conditions.
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Soil salinity of an urban park after long-term irrigation with saline groundwater
Authors: Ganjegunte, G.K., B. Leinauer, E. Sevostianova, M. Serena and R. Sallenave
Subject: Agronomy
Source: Agronomy Journal
Date: Thursday 12th October 2017
Abstract/Description: Chamizal National Park, located in El Paso, TX, extends over 140,000 m2 and has been irrigated with saline water for 46 yr. In recent years, turf areas in the park have severely degraded and bare spots have developed. Root zone salinity and sodicity were suspected to be the main reasons for the turf conditions. Developing salinity management and remediation strategies to improve turf quality requires information on the distribution of salinity (ECe) within the turf root zone. Electromagnetic induction (EMI) uses apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) to delineate salinity distribution, and is reportedly superior to traditional wet chemistry analyses. This study was conducted to investigate the spatial distribution of soil salinity and sodic- ity using the EMI technique.
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Effects of Treated Municipal Wastewater Irrigation on Soil properties, Switchgrass Biomass Production and Quality under Arid Climate
Authors: Ganjegunte, G.K., A. Ulery, G. Niu, Y. Wu.
Subject: Industrial Crops and Products
Source: Industrial Crops and Products Journal
Date: Monday 1st May 2017
Abstract/Description: Ongoing severe drought and increased demand for freshwater by municipal and industrial sectors have reduced the freshwater availability for agriculture in the far west Texas region. The region has enormous potential for developing alternative water sources for a bioenergy crop that requires less water and can grow on saline soils. In addition to improving farm income, this can help in producing 137 billion liters of bio-based transportation fuels goal set by the U.S. Congress by the year 2022. This study evaluated switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) performance under treated urban wastewater irrigation on salt affected soils amended with gypsum and polymer using soil columns prepared from a salt affected land over six years under greenhouse conditions that mimicked the climatic conditions of the study region.
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Agua del Valle de Juárez: caso localidad de Práxedis
Authors: Granados Olivas, Alfredo, Arturo Soto Ontiveros y Ana Cristina García Vásquez
Subject: N/A
Source: N/A
Date: Sunday 1st January 2017
Abstract/Description: El sol es la fuente de energía que mantiene vivo al planeta tierra. Emite continuamente una potencia de 62 mil 600 kilowatts (o kilovatios) por cada metro cuadrado de su superficie. Esto ha venido ocurriendo a lo largo de 4 mil 500 millones de años, y se estima que continuará así por otros 5 mil millones de años, lo cual, en términos de la existencia que ha tenido la humanidad, es prácticamente ilimitado. De hecho, en un periodo de tan solo dos días, el planeta recibe una cantidad de energía equivalente a todas las reservas probadas que existen de petróleo, gas y carbón. Esto equivale a cerca de 60 veces el consumo anual de la sociedad humana, lo cual nos da una idea del potencial impresionante que tiene la energía del sol para satisfacer las demandas energéticas del mundo (Bulnes, Best,
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Runoff Modeling to Inform Policy Regarding Development of Green Infrastructure for Flood Risk Management and Groundwater Recharge Augmentation along an Urban Subcatchment, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Authors: Granados-Olivas,Alfredo,Luis Carlos Alatorre-Cejudo,David Adams,Yolande L. Serra,Víctor Hugo Esquivel-Ceballos,Felipe Adrián Vázquez-Gálvez,Maria Elena Giner, and Chris Eastoe
Subject: Hydrology
Source: Journal of Contemporary Water Research
Date: Thursday 1st December 2016
Abstract/Description: Changes in land use patterns at expanding border cities along the U.S.‐Mexico transboundary area have severe impacts on runoff coefficients and flood risk management. Severe rain is the most representative type of precipitation in the Paso del Norte (PdN) region (New Mexico and Texas in the United States and Chihuahua in Mexico), characterized by high intensity, low duration, and high volumes of rain falling in localized, small areas. Rains generate flooding and damage to urban infrastructure, putting at risk people and properties along the arroyos, which lack hydraulic design to control overflowing. While using a Geographic Information System (GIS), we applied the Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC‐HMS) to model streamflow at the study site while building the hydrologic domain using ArcGIS with the Flow Area extension.
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Economic performance of irrigation capacity development to adapt to climate in the American Southwest
Authors: Frank A.Ward, Terry L. Crawford
Subject: Hydrology
Source: Elsevier Journal of Hydrology
Date: Thursday 1st September 2016
Abstract/Description: Growing demands for food security to feed increasing populations worldwide have intensified the search for improved performance of irrigation, the world’s largest water user. These challenges are raised in the face of climate variability and from growing environmental demands. Adaptation measures in irrigated agriculture include fallowing land, shifting cropping patterns, increased groundwater pumping, reservoir storage capacity expansion, and increased production of risk-averse crops. Water users in the Gila Basin headwaters of the U.S. Lower Colorado Basin have faced a long history of high water supply fluctuations producing low-valued defensive cropping patterns. To date, little research grade analysis has investigated economically viable measures for irrigation development to adjust to variable climate. This gap has made it hard to inform water resource policy decisions on workable measures to adapt to climate in the world’s dry rural areas. This paper’s contribution is to illustrate, formulate, develop, and apply a new methodology to examine the economic performance from irrigation capacity improvements in the Gila Basin of the American Southwest. An integrated empirical optimization model using mathematical programming is developed to forecast cropping patterns and farm income under two scenarios (1) status quo without added storage capacity and (2) with added storage capacity in which existing barriers to development of higher valued crops are dissolved. We find that storage capacity development can lead to a higher valued portfolio of irrigation production systems as well as more sustained and higher valued farm livelihoods. Results show that compared to scenario (1), scenario (2) increases regional farm income by 30%, in which some sub regions secure income gains exceeding 900% compared to base levels. Additional storage is most economically productive when institutional and technical constraints facing irrigated agriculture are dissolved. Along with additional storage, removal of constraints on weak transportation capacity, limited production scale, poor information access, weak risk-bearing capacity, limited management skills, scarce labor supply, low food processing capacity, and absolute scale constraints, all can raise the economic value of additional irrigation capacity development. Our results light a path forward to policy makers, water administrators, and farm managers, who bear the burden of protecting farm income, food and water security, and rural economic development in the world’s dry regions faced by the need to adapt to climate variability.
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Policy Challenges Facing Agricultural Water Use: An International Look.
Authors: Frank A. Ward
Subject: Water Economics and Policy
Source: Water Economics and Policy (WEP)
Date: Friday 26th August 2016
Abstract/Description: In the arid and semi-arid parts of the world, water for crop irrigation is a strategic
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Tracers of Groundwater Mixing in the Hueco Bolson Aquifer, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
Authors: Eastoe,Christoper,Alfredo Granados-Olivas and Barry Hibbs,
Subject: Geoscience
Source: Environmental and Engineering Geoscience Journal
Date: Monday 1st August 2016
Abstract/Description: Stable O and H isotopes and radioisotopes show that Río Bravo water recharged prior to the construction of Elephant Butte Dam is the principal source of groundwater in the Hueco Bolson aquifer beneath Ciudad Juárez. Mixing between pre-dam and post-dam river water occurs in samples from the aquifer beneath the Río Bravo floodplain, where finite tritium is also present. Along the flanks of the Sierra de Juárez, mixing occurs between pre-dam river water and water derived from the Sierra de Juárez.
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Economic Performance of Water Conservation and Storage Capacity Development to Adapt to Climate in the American Southwest
Authors: Habteyes, Befekadu,and Frank A. Ward
Subject: Hydrology
Source: Journal of Hydrology
Date: Tuesday 28th June 2016
Abstract/Description: Growing demands for food security to feed increasing populations worldwide have intensified the search for improved performance of irrigation, the world’s largest water user. These challenges are raised in the face of climate variability and from growing environmental demands. Adaptation measures in irrigated agriculture include fallowing land, shifting cropping patterns, increased groundwater pumping, reservoir storage capacity expansion, and increased production of risk-averse crops. Water users in the Gila Basin headwaters of the U.S. Lower Colorado Basin have faced a long history of high water supply fluctuations producing low-valued defensive cropping patterns.
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Spatial and seasonal variations in aridification across Southwest North America
Authors: Shannon M. Jones, David S. Gutzler
Subject: Climate
Source: Journal of Climate
Date: Friday 10th June 2016
Abstract/Description: Southwestern North America (SWNA) is projected to become drier in the twenty-first century as both precipitation (P) and evaporation (E) rates change with increasing greenhouse gas concentration. The authors diagnose the relative contributions of changes in P and E to the local surface moisture balance (P − E) in cold and warm halves of the year across SWNA. Trends in P − E vary spatially between the arid southern subregion (mostly northern Mexico) and the more temperate northern subregion (southwest United States), although both subregions exhibit a negative trend in P − E (trending toward more arid conditions) in CMIP5 projections for the twenty-first century. The P − E trend is biggest in the cold season, when much of the base flow to rivers in the southwest United States is generated. The downward trend in cold season P − E across SWNA is caused primarily by increasing E in the north and decreasing P in the south. Decreasing P is the primary contributor to modest warm season drying trends in both northern and southern subregions. Also, P accounts for most of the interannual variability in SWNA P − E and is strongly correlated with modes of oceanic natural variability during the cold season. SWNA aridification is therefore most readily distinguished from the region’s large natural climate variability in the cold season in the northern subregion, where the projected temperature-driven increase in E is greater than the projected decrease in P.
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Clasificación geoespacial de los indicadores del medio físico para la recarga del acuífero Palomas-Guadalupe Victoria, Chihuahua, México
Authors: Ramírez-Villazana,O., A. Granados-Olivas,A. Pinales-Munguía.
Subject: Environmental Science
Source: Tecnociencia Chihuahua
Date: Monday 8th February 2016
Abstract/Description: La recarga de agua es una estrategia importante para el sostenimiento del nivel hidrostático de los acuíferos. En el norte de México se localiza el acuífero Palomas-Guadalupe Victoria, donde gran parte de su recarga ocurre sobre la superficie de la Cuenca Baja del río Casas Grandes (CBRCG), en esta cuenca la principal pérdida de agua ocurre en los procesos de evapotranspiración y evaporación, ya que es una cuenca endorreica.
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