GIS-Based Dynamic Database for Water Rights Administration in the Gila River Valley, NM
Tuesday, February 27, 2018: 10:50 a.m.
Water resources and water rights in the Southwest are legally and operationally intertwined, requiring water right administrators and hydrologists to work within state and federal legislation with diverse water right users, including municipal, agricultural and tribal stakeholders. In 2014 a Federal Court mandated the creation of a “Dynamic Database” to represent four irrigation districts, two Indian tribes, and a minerals corporation in the Gila River Valley which spans public, private and tribal land in southern New Mexico and Arizona. The project scope includes farm and river bottom land mapping, agricultural system efficiency assessment, water right abstracting, conducting stakeholder meetings with water right users, and map production for the irrigated agricultural lands along the Gila River. The authors developed a GIS-based interactive Dynamic Database for New Mexico which will ultimately be utilized in management of the Globe Equity Decree, providing a template for spatial databases to be used in water right administration. The database is designed to be user friendly, accessible, adaptable, spatial, accurate, and capable of distilling thousands of legal documents into a linked attribute table for stakeholders, and legal and technical experts to query. The Dynamic Database will be utilized in multijurisdictional integrated water management by the Gila Water Commissioner after a technical and legal review process. Water budgeting for the future of our shared resources involves allocation of surface and ground water rights for competing interests; interactive GIS-based databases provide accessibility and clarity for stakeholders, legal counsel, technical experts and government agencies.