Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2006-07 Deliverables

Task 3 Research
Principal Investigator(s): Ari Michelsen

We mutually agree for Ari Michelsen to deliver the following during the period of July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007, using funds from the Rio Grande Basin Initiative:

  1. Continue development of the Rio Grande Coordinated Water Resources Database, GIS and hydrologic model. Development of the Coordinated Water Resources Database and GIS will continue providing readily available public access to real time and historical water resources information. Major elements in this phase are the addition of vegetative cover and land use and development of a conjunctive surface water and groundwater model designed to link to the Upper Rio Grande River Operations Model. The program is being conducted with the Paso del Norte Watershed Council and in partnership with many local, state, federal agencies and organizations. Resources and partnerships are being leveraged with support from the USACE, Hewlett Foundation, EPWU and USBR. Efforts involve TAES scientists (e.g. Ari Michelsen, Zhuping Sheng, Srinivasan), NMSU scientists (Phil King, Bobby Creel, Chris Brown), University of Juarez scientists (Alfredo Granados) and other stakeholders. Information and results from RGBI Tasks 1, 3, 4 and 8 are contributing to development of this effort.
  2. Produce and broadly distribute "Drought Watch on the Rio Grande," an information and educational outreach publication to increase awareness and knowledge of current river water supply, conservation, storage and water allocation conditions in the upper Rio Grande Basin and bi state Rio Grande Project region of New Mexico and Texas. Drought Watch is produced in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and will be published monthly and/or as conditions change. Ari Michelsen, TAMU TAES and Filiberto Cortez, El Paso Office, USBR.
  3. Evaluate the hydrologic, institutional, economic and sustainable concentrate management feasibility of increasing fresh water supplies by nanofiltration and reverse osmosis desalination and use of winter irrigation return flows. This pilot program will analyze treatment, institutional, regulatory, economic, hydrologic agricultural production and urban irrigation use potential of the treatment and use of irrigation return flows and management of treatment concentrates. This research program will be conducted in collaboration with UTEP and NMSU scientists and leverages support from EPWU, AWWARF and USBR. This research effort is also closely linked with several other RGBI tasks with Drs. Zhuping Sheng, Genhua Niu, Seiichi Miyamoto and George Di Giovanni.
  4. Continue analyses of the benefits and impacts of alternative water management and incentive policies such as water marketing and transfers using integrated hydrologic, institutional and economic models. Results will be presented at meetings and papers submitted for peer reviewed journal publication. A paper from this research will be presented at the Universities Council on Water Resources 2006 Conference on Increasing Freshwater Supplies. Ari Michelsen, TAMU TAES with Frank Ward NMSU and James Booker, Sienna College.
  5. Continue to analyze agricultural producer incentives for improving irrigation efficiency and conservation responses. Survey findings will be submitted for journal publication and presented at regional and professional meetings. Frank Ward and Leeann DeMouche, NMSU and Ari Michelsen, TAMU TAES
  6. Assist in research and education information exchange and analysis of the economic implications of desalination in South Texas and, as appropriate pending available resources, brackish water desalination in El Paso, Texas. This task will be conducted in collaboration with Ron Lacewell, Ed Rister, Allen Sturdivant and Ellen Pennington. Activities will include participation in the Multi State Desalination and Salinity Coalition, desalination concentrate management conference and the Consortium for Hi technology Investigations in Water and Wastewater (CHIWAWA).
  7. Respond to invited requests and continue assistance in local, state, regional and national water management efforts and meetings to coordinate and further improvements in water resources research, education and related activities.
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