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Two Coordinated Models for IWRM of the Balsas River Basin in Mexico

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Sergio Armando Trelles-Jasso, Jorge Salgado, Hélène Rocchiccioli, Ismael Orozco, Héctor Sanvicente, Avidán Bravo, Alexis Cervantes, Alberto Balancán
Mexican Institute of Water Technology Hydrology Coordination Integrated Water Resources Management Subcoordination
AbstractIn order to support the integrated water resources management and consensus building in the Council of the Balsas River Basin of Mexico, two coordinated models were implemented, one of Sytems Dynamics type and the other of distributed hydrologic type. The Balsas transboundary River Basin extends over 111,600 km2, and includes part of ten States with a population of some 10.1 million. The dynamic simulation water resources management model allows determining the surface and groundwater balance in 15 watersheeds and 42 aquifers, with a daily time step and multiyear horizon. Through a friendly interface, different hydrologic and water management scenarios are defined and compared, such as: change in long term trends of water demand for various uses, interbasin water transfers, water losses control in distribution networks and improvement of efficiency in irrigation systems. These scenarios will be considered in the definition of allocation rules in a region characterized by complex problems. The input data are detailed at a municipal or irrigation district level. The output results are aggregated at several levels in time and space. This model was developed using Powersim linked with Excel. The Physitel/Hydrotel platform for distributed hydrological modelling, was applied. The daily precipitation and runoff series at selected confluences generated by Hydrotel are fed into the dynamic water resources model of the river basin. The Physitel application was used to analyse the physiography from digital elevation models, stream network and water bodies vector maps. Thousands of relatively homogeneous hydrologic units (HU) associated with river segments or reservoirs were defined. The percentage of land use classes and predominant soil texture were attributed to each HU. The Hydrotel model was used to generate multiyear mean daily runoff series in every confluence of the stream network. To this end it simulates direct, subsurface and base flows through six processes: interpolation of daily precipitation, minimum and maximum temperatures, snow accumulation and snowmelt, potential and actual evapotranspiration, and vertical water balance in three soil layers, overland runoff, and river network and reservoir routing. The application of a distributed hydrologic model coordinated with a dynamic simulation water resources management model has proven feasible and useful in the Balsas River Basin. Its great advantage is the gain in confidence among the stakeholders for the highly detailed representation and good adjustment between simulation and reality. This methodology is applicable to many other national and international transboundary watersheds where consensus building through the analysis of scenarios based on objective grounds is both challenging and crucial.
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