Conjunctive Management of Surface and Groundwater in the Rio Grande Basin (EPA Geography and Water Final Report: Part 1-B)




Rast, Walter
Roberts, Susan V.

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The Rio Grande basin of the southwestern U.S. has known, demonstrable, and complex water issues, including water shortages, flooding, non-flows along several riverbed segments, and water quality challenges. This report and a second report to follow, focus on the possibilities inherent in a long-term approach to water management with the flexibility to address water issues. The water management approach is typically known as conjunctive use or conjunctive management. While different approaches to water management have been used in the Rio Grande / Río Bravo del Norte basin, a planned, coordinated conjunctive management program has not yet been formally applied to this basin. The goal of the Evaluation Report is to provide information collected about conjunctive use and conjunctive management in the basin. The information was gathered through reviews of published literature and documents, information about conjunctive use programs, websites, results of an online survey, and selected interviews with water resources professionals. The results indicate the potential usefulness and applicability of conjunctive management in the river basin. As might be expected with any new water management approach, there are impediments to implementing a successful program. Although conjunctive management may be generally recommended as a water resource tool, it can be involved to plan, develop, organize, and execute conjunctive management strategies without sufficient funding and coordination between agencies. There is a lack of consensus on its appropriate implementation, and no single document provides key parameters and standards for successful policies and conjunctively managed program. The goal of this research is to address these gaps.



water quality, hydrology, water resources, Rio Grande Basin


Rast, W., & Roberts, S. V. (2010). Conjunctive management of surface and groundwater in the Rio Grande Basin (EPA geography and water final report: Part 1-B) (Report No. 2010-03). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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