Hydrologic model framework for water resources planning in the Santa Cruz River, Southern Arizona

Eylon Shamir, David M. Meko, Nicholas E. Graham, Konstantine P. Georgakakos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The authors develop a model framework that includes a set of hydrologic modules as a water resources management and planning tool for the upper Santa Cruz River near the Mexican border, Southern Arizona. The modules consist of: (1) stochastic generation of hourly precipitation scenarios that maintain the characteristics and variability of a 45-year hourly precipitation record from a nearby rain gauge; (2) conceptual transformation of generated precipitation into daily streamflow using varied infiltration rates and estimates of the basin antecedent moisture conditions; and (3) surface-water to ground-water interaction for four downstream microbasins that accounts for alluvial ground-water recharge, and ET and pumping losses. To maintain the large inter-annual variability of streamflow as prevails in Southern Arizona, the model framework is constructed to produce three types of seasonal winter and summer categories of streamflow (i.e., wet, medium, or dry). Long-term (i.e., 100 years) realizations (ensembles) are generated by the above described model framework that reflects two different regimes of inter annual variability. The first regime is that of the historic streamflow gauge record. The second regime is that of the tree ring reconstructed precipitation, which was derived for the study location. Generated flow ensembles for these two regimes are used to evaluate the risk that the regional four ground-water microbasins decline below a preset storage threshold under different operational water utilization scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1155-1170
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Alluvial recharge
  • Dendrochronology
  • Ephemeral streams
  • Ground-water modeling
  • Rainfall data simulation
  • Stochastic hydrology
  • Water management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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