South-Central Section - 51st Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 4-10
Presentation Time: 11:05 AM


KHAN, Tabish H., Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712,

Groundwater enables economic growth, agriculture, and human expansion into areas that would otherwise not support large populations. This is due to the water supply resilience groundwater provides to regions and communities which overlie it. The groundwater resources of Texas have so far proven to be relatively resilient in most areas despite considerable pumping.

However, anticipated population growth, climate change, and the threat of drought will amplify the vulnerability of these resources. During the next 50 years, the population of Texas is expected to increase by 70%, with the majority of growth expected in the municipal sector. The planning information published every five years by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) in conjunction with the Regional Water Planning Groups of Texas, aid the policy making process to meet the intense demand on our surface and groundwater resources. These documents are a thorough evaluation of water resources and demands in Texas and due to this, they hold an immense amount of information. This information can be difficult to view in a holistic manner which would allow for a multi-dimensional comparison of the various regions that rely on similar sources for funding and development.

This research presents a resilience framework that incorporates multiple dimensions of resilience and vulnerability using spatial and temporal variables to assess regional water supply resilience on a relative scale.

The framework is tested with an analysis of counties along the Interstate-35 corridor. Given the relative nature of the variables and the scales upon which they are measured, the framework becomes stronger and more accurate as additional data is added to it. Through this framework a region’s relative water supply resilience against other regions can be measured and visually represented. The relative measurement scale which this framework is built on was tested with county-level data to depict the relationships between regions. As designed, the Relative Resiliency Framework (RRF) is scalable and multi-dimensional allowing for adaptation or use in other settings. Most importantly, the RRF allows development and discussion of various resiliency components that affect groundwater resources and the regions they serve.