Task 1 Research
Principal Investigator(s): Economists
Scientists: Ed Rister, Ron Lacewell, Allen Sturdivant, Rob Hogan, Emily Seawright, and Andrew Leidner
We mutually agree for the above scientists to deliver the following during 2010 to 2011, 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 the TWRI.
Task 1: Irrigation District Studies
- Investigate and report on the economics of controlling Arundo donax with biological, mechanical, and chemical control measures. Water savings are anticipated from such a program. This item is an extension of prior-years' work which reported on the economics of controlling Arundo with beneficial insects. This proposed item will expand the earlier work.
- Investigate and report on the economic and water implications of producing a bio-energy crop in the Valley. This item will involve 'transferring' and modifying a model already developed for the Texas Middle Gulf Coast region by Will McLaughlin. Water implications are thought to be neutral to consumptive in nature for this item; i.e., no anticipated water savings.
- Revise a master's thesis (by Boyer on the economies of size of municipal water treatment facilities) into a TWRI technical report. This item is an extension of work not completed in the prior year, but is about 20% complete. It is anticipated FY 2010 funding will complete this item.
- Present two contributed paper at University Council of Water Resources (UCOWR) Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington, reporting on "Water Market Institutions in the Texas Lower Rio Grande Basin." and the "Economic Implications for the Biological Control of Arundo donax in the Rio Grande Basin."
- Continue the economic investigation and analysis of water use associated with algae production for biofuel with Rob Hogan. This work involves collaboration 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. Collection and synthesizing of other local data (e.g., well operations/costs, value of by products for cattle feed, etc.) are also in process. This item is approximately 60% complete. It is anticipated FY 2010 funding will complete this item.
- Analyze the economic and financial implications of seawater desalination - over a two-year period. Minimal supplemental funding to RGBI funding is involved. The proposed project is currently conceived as consisting of one phase: case-study of an existing seawater desalination facility in (e.g., Tampa, San Diego, Trinidad, etc.). This effort would make use of the DESAL ECONOMICS© model which was developed in earlier work.