Rio Grande Watershed

Winston Chu, Chris Dombrowski, Adam Picardo, Hayden Criollo

What Is a Watershed?

  • an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins or seas
  • an area of land where water drains off to go to the same place
  • constantly managed to ensure healthy water conditions

The Rio Grande is the fifth longest river in the United States and among the top twenty in the world.

  • The Rio Grande extends from the San Juan Mountains of Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico which is around 1,901 miles.
  • Overall, this forms a 1,255 mile segment between the United States and Mexico.
  • As a result of this, the Rio Grande is a major supplier of water for the people of Texas and Mexico.

River Modifications

  • Throughout 1906 and 1944, multiple agreements were signed by the International Boundary and Water Commission in order to share the water of Rio Grande.
  • There are many dams that border the Rio Grande such as the Rio Grande Dam, Cochiti Dam, Falcon Dam, Caballo Dam, and many more.


  • As a result of the watershed surrounding a very populated area, it faces a high demand problem.
  • At the same time of trying to balance and secure a stable water supply to meet the expectation and needs of the surrounding people, it is trying to find balance between agricultural resources.

Water Supply and Use

  • average annual precipitation is 6-9 inches
  • water comes from runoff from snow and mountains
  • irrigated agriculture
  • pumped groundwater to support agricultural production