Wildlife Refuges
Southwest Region
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Division of Water Resources

The Division of Water Resources protects and restores the water resources associated with National Wildlife Refuges in the Southwestern United States. The Division has expertise in hydrology, water management, wetland management, water rights and water monitoring.

Water Rights / Water Law:

A vital function of the Division of Water Resources is the identification, protection and enhancement of the FWS's legal rights to use and divert water within the four states of Region 2.  As captured by the old saw "whiskey's for drinking, but water's for fighting", agency personnel must be vigilant to ensure our water resources are legally protected, work that often involves close coordination with the DOI' Office of the Solicitor.

Water Measurement/Gaging:

An equally vital function is the collection of hydrologic information to inform and protect the refuge system's water-related resources. The Division implements USGS protocols in the collection of a broad array of data largely related to water quantity and water quality information.  As water routinely ranks as a top priority concern for the Service, the collection of robust field data is a key skill set for the Division to posses to meet NWRS needs. (Darrell Kundargi is the main point of contact for the Division's Monitoring Program.)

Photo of Service member collection water data Photo of a service member collection water data
Service member collecting water data on Bosque Del Apache NWR. Photo Credit: USFWS

Science Support/Restoration/Studies:

From its inception in the late 1980's, the Division of Water Resources has provided refuges with a wide array of science-support services, running the gamut from technical planning for restoration projects, to development of answers for water management issues faced by refuges.  A strong illustration of this is seen in the Wetland Review process, which Paul Tashjian has provided a decade of leadership on, advocating the use of key physical processes as a primary guide towards reaching a refuge's biologically-based objectives.

Division of Water Resources Staff --- Contact Info and Areas of Responsibilities:

Chief: Andrew Hautzinger

Responsible for the day to day management of Division, Supervising a staff of four hydrologists.  Provides support to AZ refuges (minus the SE)

email: andrew_hautzinger@fws.gov, (505) 248-7946 (wk), (505) 362-2821 (cell)

Project Hydrologist: Paul Tashjian

WR lead for NM refuges, South Texas Refuge Complex and Leslie Creek/ San Bernadino (AZ) refuges

email: paul_tashjian@fws.gov, (505) 248-7958 (wk), (505) 274-5049 (cell)

Project Hydrologist: Peter Burck

WR lead for OK refuges, and Texas refuges (besides the South Texas Refuge Complex)

email: peter_burck@fws.gov, (505) 248-7961 (wk), (505) 553-3199 (cell)

Project Hydrologist: Joaquin Baca

Regional Hydrology support.

email: joaquin_baca@fws.gov, (505) 248-6622

Gaging Program Hydrologist: Darrell Kundargi

WR lead for Division's Data Acquisition Program, including field-based (e.g., gaging) and office-based (e.g., database maintenance) responsibilities for the entire Region.

email: darrell_kundargi@fws.gov, (505) 248-6430 (wk), (505) 362-3075 (cell)


Forgotten Reach technical report - addresses the restoration potential for the Rio Grande between Fort Quitman and Presido, Texas. It is a detailed technical report that defines the physical and ecologic characteristics of the reach and defines restoration activities that could be used to improve ecology.

Rio Grande Restoration Vision - is a summary of restoration potential and challenges for reaches of the Rio Grande. It summarizes the physical setting of each reach, including channel form and hydrology, and defines reach-specific restoration activities that could be used to improve ecology.


Last updated: July 30, 2014