The USGS is undertaking a 3-year study of water use, availability, and change in the Red River basin in one of several national “Focus Area Studies” in the Department of Interior’s WaterSMART initiative . The Red River basin covers more than 93,000 square miles in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana with a population of about 4.3 million people. Water resources in the basin are being stressed by increasing water demands and increasingly severe droughts. A comprehensive water-resource assessment of the basin is needed to enable sustainable water use.

The Red River Focus Area Study (FAS) will compile existing information and add new scientific data and interpretation to facilitate better management of water resources for use by humans and maintenance of water quality and ecological flows in the basin. The study is organized around four important components that are intended to improve the quality and accessibility of information on water availability for humans and ecosystems in the Red River basin, and to advance technical water assessment capabilities:

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