Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2004-05 Deliverables

Task 3 Research
Principal Investigator(s): Ari Michelsen

  1. Produce and distribute 'Drought Watch on the Rio Grande' in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, an information and educational outreach publication to increase awareness and knowledge of river water supply, storage and water allocation conditions in the Rio Grande Project bi-state region of New Mexico and Texas. This publication is produced bi-weekly to monthly during the irrigation season. Ari Michelsen, TAMU-TAES.
  2. Conduct and analyze the follow up farm-level survey of irrigation water use, crops, irrigation methods and actual conservation methods that were and are being used to cope with the severe drought in the Upper Rio Grande Basin. The survey and results enable examination of incentives and barriers to water conservation in the region. The follow up is of EBID farmers. Efforts will be made to expand the survey to EPCWID#1 and other irrigation districts; this is contingent on District cooperation. This is a collaborative effort of Ari Michelsen, TAMU-TAES and Frank Ward and LeeAnn DeMouche, NMSU. The results will be presented at regional and professional meetings.
  3. Complete development of the electronic database and produce a TWRI technical report of historical long-run (1939-2002) irrigated acreage supplied by the Rio Grande by river segment and totals for both the U.S. and Mexico from Elephant Butte Reservoir in the Upper Basin all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Prepare and publish a technical report of this information and share the electronic database for research, agency and public use. This research is being conducted in collaboration with the International Boundary and Water Commission. Ari Michelsen, and Wendy Morrison TAMU-TAES.
  4. Analyze the benefits and impacts of alternative water management and incentive policies using integrated hydrologic, institutional and economic models. Results will be presented at professional meetings and submitted for peer reviewed journal publication. Ari Michelsen, TAMU-TAES working with Frank Ward NMSU and James Booker, Siena College.
  5. Develop a guidebook for the El Paso County Water Improvement District #1 on water right ownership, allocation, measurement and water delivery operating rules within the irrigation district. This is contingent on District cooperation and was postponed because of unresolved water right issues and district Board of Director elections. Ari Michelsen, TAMU-TAES and working with Frank Ward and LeeAnn DeMouche (NMSU) as appropriate.
  6. Participate in local, state, regional and national water management efforts and meetings to exchange information and coordinate water resources research and related activities. Organizations include: New Mexico-Texas Water Commission; Paso del Norte Water Task Force; Paso del Norte Watershed Council, El Paso County Water Improvement District #1, Hudspeth County Water Improvement District; Elephant Butte Irrigation District; El Paso Water Utilities; Far West Texas Water Planning Group; Texas Water Development Board, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; International Boundary and Water Commission; and Texas Clean Rivers Program. Ari Michelsen, TAMU-TAES.
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