Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2009-10 Deliverables

Task 1 Extension
Principal Investigator(s): Ron Lacewell, Ed Rister, Allen Sturdivant, Rob Hogan, Emily Seawright, and Andrew Leidner

We mutually agree for the above researchers to deliver the following during the period of July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, using funds from the Rio Grande Basin Initiative. Note, some efforts associated with Task 1 are closely integrated between Extension and Research and are thus reported on both MOAs. Where applicable, reports on these efforts will be published through TWRI.

Task 1: Irrigation District Studies

  1. Revise a master's thesis (by Seawright, on the economics of an USDA-ARS beneficial-insect program to reduce Arundo donax and improve local water supplies) into a TWRI technical report. Water savings are anticipated from the program. This item is an extension of prior-years work. It is anticipated FY 2009 funding will complete this item.
  2. Complete the customized development of VIDRA© (Valley Irrigation District Rate Analyzer) for CCID#2 and a revised version for HCID#2. This item is a continuation of prior years' efforts. Last year, this item went from about 85-90% complete to the current 95%-97% complete. It is anticipated FY 2009 funding will complete this item.
  3. Start and complete a TWRI technical report which compares information to date on the comparative economic and financial costs of alternative water supplies for the Texas LRGV. This will involve results from various models/work, including: RGIDECON©, DESAL ECONOMICS©, CITY H2O ECONOMICS©, and ARUNDO ECONOMICS©. This item is a progression of prior years' efforts. It is anticipated FY 2009 funding will complete this item.
  4. Present two contributed papers at University Council of Water Resources (UCOWR) Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. Reporting on "Rate Analyses for Irrigation Districts in South Texas" and "Toward Identifying Optimal Best Management Practices for Watershed Management of Water Quality."
  5. To other external agencies/parties, propose to analyze the economic and financial implications of applying select renewable energy sources to seawater desalination. If accepted, this proposal will provide supplemental funding to RGBI funding. The proposed project could consist of three phases: i) case-study of an existing seawater desalination facility in Tampa, Florida, ii) renewable energy technology analysis of ZEROS, wind, biofuels, etc., and iii) an analysis of a new generation seawater desalination facility which uses renewable energy. These efforts would make use of the DESAL ECONOMICS© model.
  6. Present a contributed paper at the Western Agricultural Economics Association Conference in Kauai, HI. Reporting on "Improving Financial Planning and Rate Analyses for South Texas Irrigation Districts."
  7. Begin the economic investigation and analysis of algae for biofuel with Rob Hogan. This is to work with Engineers and others at the experimental site at the AgriLife Research Center in Pecos, Texas. Currently there are production/research/demonstration ponds with on-going programs directed to identifying optimal species of algae and best production practices for the region.
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