The United States - Mexico border area faces the challenge of integrating aspects of its binational physical boundaries to form a unified or, at least, compatible natural resource management plan. Specified geospatial components such as stream drainages, mineral occurrences, vegetation, wildlife, and land-use can be analyzed in terms of their overlapping impacts upon one another. Watersheds have been utilized as a basic unit in resource analysis because they contain components that are interrelated and can be viewed as a single interactive ecological system. In developing and analyzing critical regional natural resource databases, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal and non-governmental agencies have adopted a ?watershed by watershed? approach to dealing with such complicated issues as ecosystem health, natural resource use, urban growth, and pollutant transport within hydrologic systems. These watersheds can facilitate the delineation of both large scale and locally important hydrologic systems and urban management parameters necessary for sustainable, diversified land-use. The twin border cities area of Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona, provide the ideal setting to demonstrate the utility and application of a complete, cross-border, geographic information systems (GIS) based, watershed analysis in the characterization of a wide range of natural resource as well as urban features and their interactions. In addition to the delineation of a unified, cross-border watershed, the database contains sewer/water line locations and status, well locations, geology, hydrology, topography, soils, geomorphology, and vegetation data, as well as remotely sensed imagery. This report is preliminary and part of an ongoing project to develop a GIS database that will be widely accessible to the general public, researchers, and the local land management community with a broad range of application and utility.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Preliminary United States-Mexico border watershed analysis, twin cities area of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora
U.S. Geological Survey
Geology, Minerals, Energy and Geophysics Science Center