Foreword: The French students enrolled in the MSc ‘Agroecology, Soil and Water Conservation’ attend a 6-seminar cycle with the international students. They are asked to introduce the guest speaker and to write back a summary of the seminar. Here is the summary of the first seminar (99% of the following text has be written by the students).

Water resources management in a transboundary desert river basin facing climate change and competing water demands: An overview of challenges and opportunities for sustainable solutions.

Dr. Stanley MUBAKO, Research assistant professor at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Credits: UniLaSalle

Authors: Guilhem and Laureline.

Stanley MUBAKO works at El Paso, a city close to the USA-Mexico border. This area is caracterized by an arid climate, which is a problem for the water resources necessary to all the cities around. The main difficulty is that there is only one river passing through Mexico and the U.S: the Rio Grande. As a transboundary river, the management of this resource is really complicated.

An agreement aleady exists between the United States and Mexico for a certain amount of water that the New Mexico State has to let pass. The water management regulation between New Mexico, Texas and Mexico is very different though. Texas is an agricultural State which needs many water supplies which can be hard to manage in times of drought.

That is the reason why a five year project is currently led by the University of Texas and many other partner structures. The purpose of this research is to characterize the demand of this resources to create time simulations. This work takes places in a context where demands are increasing and the climate is changing. At the end of the project, suggestions will be given for a better water management. Another part of this project is the creation of free projection tool. Thanks to this tool everyone will be able to create his own simulation of water availability through all parameters.

After two years the project is still on data collection. A first version of the on-line simulation tool has been shared..

Dr. Stanley Mubako’s personnal page.

Professor’s perspective

This seminar is a very reprentative case study of the transboundary water management because it compasses both surface water and groundwater resources. The seminar also trained the students to new concepts such as water rights systems.  such as prior appropriation. Finally, this presentation gave a prime example of how to involve the stakeholders related to the local water management.