Abstract for: Modeling as a Tool to Improve the Impact of Water Science Research

Transboundary aquifers serve as critical water supplies for natural and human systems around the world. Even in regions with established coordination to understand these resources, like the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program between the United States and Mexico, different realities make it unlikely that countries can follow identical timeframes for reporting and perceiving aquifer assessment-produced information. This study developed a system dynamics model with natural, human, and technical system components for a section of the transboundary Mesilla Basin/Conejos-Médanos aquifer to evaluate the following dynamic hypothesis: how and when information from a transboundary aquifer assessment is reported and perceived – in scenarios where two countries follow identical and different timeframes – dynamically impacts the behaviors of the shared aquifer. Simulation experiments were conducted to quantitatively assess the dynamics of transboundary aquifer assessment information reporting and perception delays. These critical feedbacks have not previously been incorporated practically in simulation and analysis. Simulation results demonstrated that the timing and content of reporting can change the dynamic behavior of natural, human, and technical components of transboundary aquifer systems. This study demonstrates the potential for modeling to assist with prioritization efforts during the data collection and exchange phases to ensure that transboundary aquifer assessments achieve their intended outcomes.