A socio-environmental geodatabase for integrative research in the transboundary Rio Grande/Río Bravo basin

Sci Data. 2020 Mar 6;7(1):80. doi: 10.1038/s41597-020-0410-1.


Integrative research on water resources requires a wide range of socio-environmental datasets to better understand human-water interactions and inform decision-making. However, in transboundary watersheds, integrating cross-disciplinary and multinational datasets is a daunting task due to the disparity of data sources and the inconsistencies in data format, content, resolution, and language. This paper introduces a socio-environmental geodatabase that transcends political and disciplinary boundaries in the Rio Grande/Río Bravo basin (RGB). The geodatabase aggregates 145 GIS data layers on five main themes: (i) Water & Land Governance, (ii) Hydrology, (iii) Water Use & Hydraulic Infrastructures, (iv) Socio-Economics, and (v) Biophysical Environment. Datasets were primarily collected from public open-access data sources, processed with ArcGIS, and documented through the FGCD metadata standard. By synthesizing a broad array of datasets and mapping public and private water governance, we expect to advance interdisciplinary research in the RGB, provide a replicable approach to dataset compilation for transboundary watersheds, and ultimately foster transboundary collaboration for sustainable resource management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.