Regional Water Management with Full Consumptive Use
The stretch of the Rio Grande from Elephant Butte, New Mexico to Fort Quitman, Texas probably comes as close to consumptively using all of the surface water of the river as any major river basin in the United. States. The only surface waters that escape the region at Fort Quitman are occasional flood waters from thunderstorms. In this reach of the river, production of water is negligible and comes primarily from thunderstorm runoff. The surface water for the region is stored at Elephant Butte Reservoir and released as demanded. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the social and economic impacts of alternative water-use policies for the stretch of the Rio Grande from Elephant Butte to Fort Quitman.
This study presents alternative long-run production and water utilization patterns in the region. A socio-economic model utilizing an interregional input-output model for the four county (Dona Ana, Sierra, El Paso, and Hudspeth) was developed.
Two basic growth projections were analyzed. A high estimate of future production and a low estimate. Three basic scenarios were developed which incorporated various water availability constraints (no constraint on water availability, surface water availability constrained to 1970 levels, and both surface and groundwater availibility constrained to 1970 levels.
Project No. B-046-NMEX