Frequency and spatial characteristics of droughts in the Conchos River Basin, Mexico

Tae Woong Kim, Juan B. Valdés, Javier Aparicio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The temporal and spatial characteristics of droughts are investigated to provide a framework for sustainable water resources management in a semi-arid region. Using the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) as an indicator of drought severity, the characteristics of droughts are examined in the Conchos River Basin in Mexico. This basin is important to both the United States and Mexico, because the Conchos River supplies approximately 80 percent of the flows of the Lower Bravo/Grande River above the binational reservoirs of Amistad and Falcon. The temporal and spatial characteristics of the PDSI are used to develop a drought intensity - areal extent - frequency curve that can assess the severity of a regional drought in the basin. The analysis of the PDSI suggests that the Conchos River Basin had a severe drought in the 1990s, which the basin has not experienced before. Based on this analysis, the recent drought that occurred in the 1990s has an associated return period of about 80 to 100 years over the basin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-430
Number of pages11
JournalWater International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Droughts
  • Frequency curve
  • PDSI
  • Return period
  • Semi-arid region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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