Large withdrawals of water from the Red River Basin could decrease available water for current users, change salinity, and reduce streamflow in the Red River. Withdrawals from freshwater tributaries could increase salinity in the river, which would impair use of water for irrigation, public water supplies, and other purposes. Increased withdrawals could reduce the availability of water in the basin for present and likely future needs, and affect lake levels, ecological flows, and downstream navigation.
Documentation of surface-water and groundwater withdrawals within the Red River basin are needed by water planners, managers, and stakeholders as a basis for decisions about sustainable water use and to predict amounts of freshwater likely to be available in the basin during future conditions.
The Red River basin includes 93,200 square miles across Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Red River basin comprises 74 HUC-8s, 4,371 HUC-12s, and all or parts of 155 counties, including 33 in Arkansas, 31 in Louisiana, 2 in New Mexico, 35 in Oklahoma, and 54 in Texas. There are 473 individual HUC-8/county combinations in the basin.
The methods used and data compiled for the 2010 and 2015 water withdrawals by HUC-8 will be documented in a data release. In addition, the water use study component will update the USGS National Water Information System Aggregate Water-Use Data System and contribute to the groundwater and rainfall-runoff modeling reports.