Groundwater flow model of the Lower San Pedro River basin for the sustainability of riparian habitats

Jonathan Whittier, Thomas Maddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Water issues in the Lower San Pedro River (SPR) basin are becoming increasingly contentious as human activity competes with sustainability of the riparian habitat. The SPR flows north from Sonora, Mexico to its confluence with the Gila River in Arizona, USA. In order to better understand the water demands in this basin, a new groundwater flow model was created simulating conditions prior to 1940 and changes from 1940 to 2000. The model results project potential impacts to the sustainability of groundwater within the basin. Natural indicators show downward trends involving declines in water table levels near the river due to pumping, underflow to the Gila River basin, water available for sustaining riparian vegetation, water available in storage, and flow from the aquifer to the river. In the future, the model will be used as an administrative tool to assess alternative land management scenarios and their abilities to sustain or improve the riparian habitat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalIAHS-AISH Publication
Issue number302
StatePublished - Sep 18 2006

Keywords

  • Arizona
  • GIS
  • GMS
  • MODFLOW
  • Natural indicators
  • Phreatophyte, riparian habitat
  • San Pedro River
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Oceanography

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