Next Article in Journal
Public Acceptance of Wastewater Reuse: New Evidence from Factor and Regression Analyses
Next Article in Special Issue
Twenty-First Century Science Calls for Twenty-First Century Groundwater Use Law: A Retrospective Analysis of Transboundary Governance Weaknesses and Future Implications in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin
Previous Article in Journal
The Impact of the Uncertain Input Data of Multi-Purpose Reservoir Volumes under Hydrological Extremes
Previous Article in Special Issue
Gradient Self-Potential Logging in the Rio Grande to Identify Gaining and Losing Reaches across the Mesilla Valley
Due to scheduled maintenance work on our core network, there may be short service disruptions on this website between 16:00 and 16:30 CEST on September 25th.
Review

A Review of Climate Change Impacts on the USA-Mexico Transboundary Santa Cruz River Basin

1
Hydrologic Research Center, 11440 West Bernardo Court, Suite 375, San Diego, CA 92127, USA
2
Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo 83000, Mexico
3
Arid Lands Resource Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
4
Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maria Mimikou
Water 2021, 13(10), 1390; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101390
Received: 24 April 2021 / Revised: 9 May 2021 / Accepted: 10 May 2021 / Published: 16 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Transboundary Aquifer Assessment)
In the parched Upper Santa Cruz River Basin (USCRB), a binational USA–Mexico basin, the water resources depend on rainfall-triggered infrequent flow events in ephemeral channels to recharge its storage-limited aquifers. In-situ data from the basin highlight a year-round warming trend since the 1980s and a concerning decline in average precipitation (streamflow) from 1955–2000 to 2001–2020 by 50% (87.6%) and 17% (63%) during the winter and summer, respectively. Binational sustainable management of the basins water resources requires a careful consideration of prospective climatic changes. In this article we review relevant studies with climate projections for the mid-21st century of four weather systems that affect the region’s precipitation. First, the North American Monsoon (NAM) weather system accounts for ~60% of the region’s annual rainfall. The total NAM precipitation is projected to decline while heavy rainfall events are expected to intensify. Second, the frequency of the pacific cold fronts, the region’s prevalent source of winter precipitation, is projected to decline. Third, the frequency and intensity of future atmospheric rivers, a weather system that brings winter rainfall to the region, are projected to increase. Fourth, the frequency and intensity of large eastern pacific tropical cyclones (TC) are expected to increase. On rare occasions, remnants of TC make their way to the USCRB to cause storms with considerable impact on the region’s water resources. In contrast to the high confidence projections for the warming trend to persist throughout the mid-21st century, the precipitation projections of these four weather systems affecting the region encompass large uncertainties and studies have often reported contradicting trends. An added source of uncertainty is that the USCRB is located at the periphery of the four rain-bearing weather systems and small mesoscale changes in these weather systems may have accentuated impacts on their edges. Despite the high uncertainty in the projections of future precipitation, the early 21st century drying trend and the projected mid-21st century decline in precipitation events serve as a pressing call for planning and actions to attain sustainable water resources management that reliably satisfies future demands. View Full-Text
Keywords: Santa Cruz River; climate change; water resources; transboundary aquifer; transboundary aquifer assessment; Arizona; Sonora Santa Cruz River; climate change; water resources; transboundary aquifer; transboundary aquifer assessment; Arizona; Sonora
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Shamir, E.; Tapia-Villaseñor, E.M.; Cruz-Ayala, M.-B.; Megdal, S.B. A Review of Climate Change Impacts on the USA-Mexico Transboundary Santa Cruz River Basin. Water 2021, 13, 1390. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101390

AMA Style

Shamir E, Tapia-Villaseñor EM, Cruz-Ayala M-B, Megdal SB. A Review of Climate Change Impacts on the USA-Mexico Transboundary Santa Cruz River Basin. Water. 2021; 13(10):1390. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101390

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shamir, Eylon, Elia M. Tapia-Villaseñor, Mary-Belle Cruz-Ayala, and Sharon B. Megdal 2021. "A Review of Climate Change Impacts on the USA-Mexico Transboundary Santa Cruz River Basin" Water 13, no. 10: 1390. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101390

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop