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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor 1

Alex S. Mayer

Advisor 2

Veronica L. Webster

Committee Member 2

David W. Watkins


This study is focused on the Middle Rio Grande basin which extends for 153.5 km from below the Caballo reservoir, NM to El Paso, TX. This region is among the top most water-stressed places in America due to the water scarcity [1]. The Rio Grande is connected hydraulically to the underlying alluvial aquifers. Extraction of groundwater from the alluvial aquifer is suspected to substantially affect the streamflow in the Rio Grande. The present work models the surface water-groundwater system to provide information for the water managers and the other local policy makers. A one-dimensional finite-difference model has been developed that can simulate transient and steady-state surface water. The one-dimensional groundwater model, which is modeled using the implicit finite-difference method, can model the steady-state flow in the alluvium aquifer. The steady-state surface water and groundwater models are coupled using Darcy’s law model of the channel-alluvial aquifer exchange. The model simulates conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water considering the interactions of Rio Grande flow with the multi-branched irrigation fields, and municipal and agricultural pumping. This report details the Rio Grande study area, the data collection, and the surface water-groundwater mathematical model.

AppendixD.xlsx (303 kB)
AppendixE.xlsx (403 kB)