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Article

Investigating Management of Transboundary Waters through Cooperation: A Serious Games Case Study of the Hueco Bolson Aquifer in Chihuahua, Mexico and Texas, United States

1
Department of Civil Engineering, Center for Environmental Resource Management, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
2
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Center for Inter-American and Border Studies, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
3
Departamento de Ingeniería Civil y Ambiental, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Cd Juárez 32315, Mexico
4
Center for Environmental Resource Management, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
5
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
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Environmental Science and Engineering PhD Program, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
7
Departamento de Arquitectura, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Cd Juárez 32315, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sharon B. Megdal
Water 2021, 13(15), 2001; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152001
Received: 25 May 2021 / Revised: 17 July 2021 / Accepted: 18 July 2021 / Published: 21 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Transboundary Aquifer Assessment)
Management of transboundary aquifers is a vexing water resources challenge, especially when the aquifers are overexploited. The Hueco Bolson aquifer, which is bisected by the United States–Mexico border and where pumping far exceeds recharge, is an apt example. We conducted a binational, multisector, serious games workshop to explore collaborative solutions for extending the life of the shared aquifer. The value of the serious game workshop was building knowledge, interest, understanding, and constituency among critical stakeholders from both sides of the border. Participants also learned about negotiations and group decision-making while building mutual respect and trust. We did not achieve consensus, but a number of major outcomes emerged, including: (1) participants agreed that action is called for and that completely depleting the freshwater in the shared aquifer could be catastrophic to the region; (2) addressing depletion and prolonging the life of the aquifer will require binational action, because actions on only one side of the border is not enough; and (3) informal binational cooperation will be required to be successful. Agreeing that binational action is called for, the serious games intervention was an important next step toward improving management of this crucial binational resource. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater depletion; transboundary aquifers; binational resource management; serious games; stakeholder cooperation groundwater depletion; transboundary aquifers; binational resource management; serious games; stakeholder cooperation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mayer, A.; Heyman, J.; Granados-Olivas, A.; Hargrove, W.; Sanderson, M.; Martinez, E.; Vazquez-Galvez, A.; Alatorre-Cejudo, L.C. Investigating Management of Transboundary Waters through Cooperation: A Serious Games Case Study of the Hueco Bolson Aquifer in Chihuahua, Mexico and Texas, United States. Water 2021, 13, 2001. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152001

AMA Style

Mayer A, Heyman J, Granados-Olivas A, Hargrove W, Sanderson M, Martinez E, Vazquez-Galvez A, Alatorre-Cejudo LC. Investigating Management of Transboundary Waters through Cooperation: A Serious Games Case Study of the Hueco Bolson Aquifer in Chihuahua, Mexico and Texas, United States. Water. 2021; 13(15):2001. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152001

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mayer, Alex, Josiah Heyman, Alfredo Granados-Olivas, William Hargrove, Mathew Sanderson, Erica Martinez, Adrian Vazquez-Galvez, and Luis Carlos Alatorre-Cejudo. 2021. "Investigating Management of Transboundary Waters through Cooperation: A Serious Games Case Study of the Hueco Bolson Aquifer in Chihuahua, Mexico and Texas, United States" Water 13, no. 15: 2001. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152001

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