Update and Recalibration of the Rio Grande Transboundary Integrated Hydrologic Model, New Mexico and Texas, United States, and Northern Chihuahua, Mexico

Scientific Investigations Report 2022-5045
Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation
By: , and 

Links

  • Document: Report (10.9 MB pdf)
  • Data Release: USGS data release— MODFLOW One-Water Hydrologic Flow Model (MF-OWHM) used to simulate conjunctive use in the Hatch Valley and Mesilla Basin, New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Download citation as: RIS | Dublin Core

Abstract

The Rio Grande Transboundary Integrated Hydrologic Model (RGTIHM) was developed through an interagency effort between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation to provide a tool for analyzing the hydrologic system response to the historical evolution of water use and potential changes in water supplies and demands in the Hatch Valley (also known as Rincon Valley in the study area) and Mesilla Basin, New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico. Reclamation operates the Rio Grande Project (RGP) to store and deliver surface water for irrigation and municipal use within the study area and in the El Paso Valley south of the El Paso Narrows.

Biases in the RGTIHM’s simulation of streamflow and aquifer storage depletion and the availability of new estimates of historical agricultural consumptive use in the study area initiated an update and recalibration of the RGTIHM. In addition to the new estimates of historical agricultural consumptive use, updates were made to more accurately represent the natural system and included adjustments to the initial groundwater levels; streamflow rating tables; Rio Grande, canal, and drain streambed elevations; tributary streambed elevations; surface-water inflows and diversions; RGP surface-water deliveries and canal waste; on-farm efficiency; the routing of surface-water runoff within the MODFLOW Farm Process; and general head boundaries used to simulate interbasin groundwater flow. Model settings, including the assignment of hydraulic conductivity and storage properties to model layers and the MODFLOW solver package, were adjusted to improve numerical stability, and the model was recalibrated to better simulate the natural system. The updated and recalibrated RGTIHM demonstrates a robust ability to simulate the spatially and temporally variable measurements, estimates, or reports of hydraulic head, surface-water flows, agricultural pumping, RGP surface-water deliveries and canal waste, and decadal aquifer storage changes, with improvements over the previous version of the model.

Suggested Citation

Ritchie, A.B., Galanter, A.E., Flickinger, A.K., Shephard, Z.M., and Ferguson, I.M., 2022, Update and recalibration of the Rio Grande Transboundary Integrated Hydrologic Model, New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2022–5045, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20225045.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Model Updates
  • Model Recalibration
  • Calibration Results and Model Outputs
  • Model Performance, Limitations, and Suggestions for Future Work
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Update and recalibration of the Rio Grande Transboundary Integrated Hydrologic Model, New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2022-5045
DOI 10.3133/sir20225045
Year Published 2022
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New Mexico Water Science Center
Description Report: vi, 28 p.; Data Release
Country Mexico, United States
State Chihuahua, New Mexico, Texas
Online Only (Y/N) Y
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