April 2019 eNews

U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission Hosts Binational Conference on Groundwater

By Ashley Page, NM WRRI Research Specialist

The U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (US IBWC) hosted the Binational Summit on Transboundary Groundwater at the US-Mexico Border on April 10 and 11, 2019. The meeting took place in El Paso, TX at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant’s (KBHDP) TecH20 Center. Attendees were able to participate in a tour of the KBHDP.

The summit-planning group consisted of members from IBWC, United States Geological Survey, University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, Texas Water Resources Institute, and New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (NM WRRI). NM WRRI assisted IBWC with event logistics by creating the website, running registration and payment, and helping with planning and day-of coordination.

Approximately 100 attendees participated in the event. They represented government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions from the United States and Mexico, as well as other transboundary regions.

U.S. Section IBWC Commissioner Jane Harkins and Mexican Section Comisión Internacional de Límites y Aguas (CILA) Commissioner Roberto Salmón gave the welcome addresses and closing remarks for the summit. Presenters shared their perspectives and research related to the following themes: Groundwater Resources: Status and Challenges; Hydrogeologic Assessment; Cooperative Strategies for Groundwater; Data Sharing and Understanding Groundwater: What is working? What is missing?; Watershed Restoration, Improvements, and Sustainability; Hydrogeologic Modeling; and Stakeholder Engagement.

The two-day summit provided an informative summary of the transboundary groundwater work conducted along the US-Mexico border, as well as future opportunities and challenges.