Technical Completion Report 327
Paso del Norte Watershed Council Coordinated Water Resources Database Project

Christopher Brown, Department of Geography, New Mexico State University
Zhuping Sheng, Texas Agricultural Research & Extension Center, The Texas A&M University System
Matt Rich, Department of Geography, New Mexico State University

January 2004


The Paso del Norte Watershed Council (PDNWC) is a quasi-governmental organization that serves in an advisory capacity to the New Mexico-Texas Water Commission regarding the selection, planning, and implementation of environmental enhancements and mitigations associated with the El Paso-Las Cruces Regional Sustainable Water Project. The Council recommends policies for cooperation, coordination, and the sharing of information concerning planning and management activities of projects affecting the Paso del Norte Watershed, this being defined as the Rio Grande Basin between Elephant Butte Dam/Reservoir in southern New Mexico and Fort Quitman, Texas.

In the last several years, the Watershed Council has discussed the development of a regional cooperative database project that would provide streamlined access to a range of water resource data in the Paso del Norte region. In August of 2002, the El Paso Water Utilities provided initial funding to the Paso del Norte Watershed Council to develop a pilot cooperative database project, and efforts toward the development of such a project have been ongoing. This document is the final report for this effort. In this report, we detail the following elements of the project, as specified in the initial Scope of Work:

1) The background, motivation, and intended outcomes of the project,
2) The specific tasks that were undertaken in project development efforts,
3) The specific insights that we have gained in this pilot effort,
4) Specific recommendations for new water quality monitoring sites and equipment, and
5) An outline of tasks that should be undertaken in future phases of the project.

All deliverables specified in the project have been completed, and we also note the following recommendations for future project work, as detailed in the latter part of this report:

  • Complete migration of the Project website and related databases to the ArcIMS software,
  • Installation of new monitoring stations and equipment as detailed above, and inclusion of these monitoring sites in future ArcIMS map products,
  • Enhanced levels of funding to be directed to support more active participation of regional volunteer data providers and to bring new providers into the project,
  • Exploration of scripting and automated FTP routines or a batch mode of data transfer to allow progress on the “user interface plateau” discussed in the report,
  • Inclusion of groundwater data into future phases of the project,
  • Linking the EPWU-funded project to USACE-supported database efforts, and
  • Additional funding to be provided to lend institutional support to the Watershed Council and also to fund future Cooperative Database Project activities.

    Keywords: Lower Rio Grande, Paso del Norte, watershed, database

    Project No. 01-4-23989

    Download TR325 report

    Hardcopy of report available from: New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, NMSU, Box 30001, MSC 3167, Las Cruces, NM 88003

    OR Texas Water Resources Institute, 1500 Research Parkway - TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2118