The Hydrological Impacts of the U.S.- Mexico Border Fence along the Rio Grande River, Texas

Authors: Adriana Martinez*, Southern Illinois University -Edwardsville, Alicia Terry, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Geomorphology, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: U.S.-Mexico border, Texas, fluvial geomorphology, hydrologic, modeling
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the summers of 2013 and 2014, Eagle Pass, Texas along the U.S. Mexico border experienced two back-to-back large flood events that impacted the surrounding population and geomorphic processes along the Rio Grande floodplain. The U.S. Mexico border fence is thought to have disproportionately disadvantaged lower socio-economic populations given its location and exacerbated flooding along the Rio Grande River at this location and elsewhere. Nevertheless, 190 kilometers of fencing stands along the Rio Grande at the Texas-Mexico border with numerous more miles planned despite a full examination of how the fence may be affecting flooding and the citizens that live in the area. As the federal government currently breaks ground on 53 km of fence in the Rio Grande Valley and the looming potential for additional fence construction given the presidential emergency declaration, modeling the hydrologic impacts of future fence sections and understanding the current impacts of the fence on the surrounding population is imperative to determining the new hydrological response of this altered system.

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