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Salinity Contributions from Geothermal Waters to the Rio Grande and Shallow Aquifer System in the Transboundary Mesilla (United States)/Conejos-Médanos (Mexico) Basin

Mesilla/Conejos-Médanos Basin: U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Water Resources

U.S. Geological Survey, New Mexico Water Science Center, Albuquerque, NM 87113, USA
U.S. Geological Survey, Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, Denver, CO 80225, USA
U.S. Geological Survey, Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center, Austin, TX 78754, USA
Instituto de Ingeniería y Tecnología, Ciudad Juárez, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Ciudad Juárez 32500, Mexico
Water Science & Management, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
Plant & Environmental Sciences Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
Elephant Butte Irrigation District, Las Cruces, NM 88005, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Aizhong Ye
Water 2022, 14(2), 134;
Received: 31 August 2021 / Revised: 11 December 2021 / Accepted: 18 December 2021 / Published: 6 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Transboundary Aquifer Assessment)
Synthesizing binational data to characterize shared water resources is critical to informing binational management. This work uses binational hydrogeology and water resource data in the Mesilla/Conejos-Médanos Basin (Basin) to describe the hydrologic conceptual model and identify potential research that could help inform sustainable management. The Basin aquifer is primarily composed of continuous basin-fill Santa Fe Group sediments, allowing for transboundary throughflow. Groundwater flow, however, may be partially or fully restricted by intrabasin uplifts and limited recharge. The shallow groundwater in the Rio Grande alluvium receives recharge from the Rio Grande and responds to changes in water supply and demand. About 11% of Rio Grande alluvial groundwater volume is recharged annually, an amount that is less than recent withdrawals. Potentially recoverable fresh to slightly brackish groundwater was estimated at 82,600 cubic hectometers in the U.S. portion of the Basin and 69,100 cubic hectometers in the Mexican portion. Alluvial groundwater geochemistry is governed by the evaporative concentration of the Rio Grande and agricultural diversions, whereas deeper groundwater geochemistry is governed by mixing and geochemical processes. Continued refinements to storage estimates, the water budget, and deep groundwater extent and geochemistry can improve estimates of sustainable use and inform alternative water sources. View Full-Text
Keywords: transboundary; water resources; Rio Grande; conceptual model; hydrogeology; geochemistry transboundary; water resources; Rio Grande; conceptual model; hydrogeology; geochemistry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Robertson, A.J.; Matherne, A.-M.; Pepin, J.D.; Ritchie, A.B.; Sweetkind, D.S.; Teeple, A.P.; Granados-Olivas, A.; García-Vásquez, A.C.; Carroll, K.C.; Fuchs, E.H.; Galanter, A.E. Mesilla/Conejos-Médanos Basin: U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Water Resources. Water 2022, 14, 134.

AMA Style

Robertson AJ, Matherne A-M, Pepin JD, Ritchie AB, Sweetkind DS, Teeple AP, Granados-Olivas A, García-Vásquez AC, Carroll KC, Fuchs EH, Galanter AE. Mesilla/Conejos-Médanos Basin: U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Water Resources. Water. 2022; 14(2):134.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Robertson, Andrew J., Anne-Marie Matherne, Jeff D. Pepin, Andre B. Ritchie, Donald S. Sweetkind, Andrew P. Teeple, Alfredo Granados-Olivas, Ana C. García-Vásquez, Kenneth C. Carroll, Erek H. Fuchs, and Amy E. Galanter. 2022. "Mesilla/Conejos-Médanos Basin: U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Water Resources" Water 14, no. 2: 134.

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