Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2010-11 Deliverables

Principal Investigator(s): District 6 County Programs

We mutually agree for Texas AgriLife Extension Service to deliver the following during the period of July 15, 2010 to July 14, 2011, using funds from the Rio Grande Basin Initiative:

  • Irrigation efficiency, water quality issues, and crops and/or varieties that utilize water more efficiently in production agriculture will be targeted through educational programming and applied research projects. County Extension Agent-Ag in Uvalde County will partner with six of the surrounding counties to continue educational efforts on related to irrigation scheduling. Five weather stations will receive needed maintenance and new parts when necessary.  Agent in Reeves County will continue result demonstrations addressing irrigation efficiency and water quality issues with local growers.  El Paso, Val Verde, Hudspeth, Pecos counties will also conduct programs addressing irrigation efficiency.  El Paso County faculty has identified programming and applied research needs in 1) "Alternative Crops in Marginal Soils and Water" 2) "Factors Related to Alternate Bearing Years in Pecans" 3) Alfalfa Nodulation in Hot Desert Soils".   Work will continue on salinity management practices in pecans and other crops, and conduct trials to determine the level of salt resistance in available alfalfa varieties.
  • Water conservation and water quality issues in landscapes and turf will be addressed with educational programming in El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Crockett, Presidio, Brewster, Kinney, Reeves and Terrell Counties. Landscape design, native/adapted plant selection, and efficient irrigation systems will be presented.
  • "Forgotten River Land Reclamation for Agro-Forestry Production" project includes 95,000 acres of  farm land has been gradually abandoned because of salinity problems caused by water shortage, water polluted and in early 1980 because of a massive water release from the Elephant Butte in preparation of a high inflow during the next year thaw season. Unfortunately this massive release of water was not used for winter farming in New Mexico or Texas and most of the water ended in the area of Fort Quitman. The River water flooded the farming areas and brought to the surface the salt that for several years was accumulated below surface and after evaporation high levels of the salt concentrated into the soil top making after this period very hard for any crop to establish and do well.  The purpose of this project is to screen agro-forestry species that can survive, grow and produce biomass, bio-energy or bio-fuel using soil and water with high concentrations of salts.
  • Rainwater harvesting demonstrations and programs will be established/conducted in Kinney, Crane and Ward County.  Demonstration gardens will be maintained and/or enhanced with new plant materials and educational publications made available on site in Crockett, Culberson, Hudspeth, Presidio, El Paso, and Pecos County.
  • Soil and water testing programs including well water screening will be conducted in Brewster/Jeff Davis, Terrell, Presidio, Hudspeth, Culberson, Kinney, Edwards and Kinney County.
  • Rangeland watershed management will be addressed through demonstrations and educational programs in Edwards, Kinney, Pecos, Presidio, Val Verde and Crockett counties. Pecos River Project information will be presented in Ward, Reeves, Crockett, Crane, Pecos, Terrell, Ward, and Val Verde County.
  • In-Home Water Conservation will be presented and Water Conservation kits will be distributed through educational programs conducted in Brewster/Jeff Davis, Presidio, Uvalde, Val Verde, Terrell, El Paso, Pecos and Ward County.
  • Youth water education programs will be conducted bu counties in the Rio Grande Basin.  El Paso County will conduct Water Education Programs with other youth agency groups via After-School Programs, Camps and on-site locations, Ft. Bliss 4-H Military programs and other youth partner groups/agencies.  Water Education Programs with schools through curriculum enrichment programming using Investigating Water curricullum.  Support of water education activities with TAMU Coloninas Summer Camps, Tiguas Environmental Services, El Paso Water Utilities-TecH20 Center, City of El Paso Environmental Services & Parks and Recreation department, and YISD 21 Century Community Learning Centers. Extension will provide educational/informational exhibits at selected community events with youth audience curriculum enrichment programs in the schools which will include WaterFest, Water Fairs, and Junior Master Gardener programs. Youth Natural Resource Field Day which includes watershed management and health will be conducted in Pecos County.  Youth from across Texas participated in the State Youth Water Camp that is held each summer in Ward County.  The Camp focuses on water quality, quantity, conservation, and other current water issues. Camp agenda includes workshops, field trips, group project work, and recreation.
  • Teacher workshop targeted at science teachers in region 18 that will address TEKs and many current water issues.  Workshop will be held in Crane County.
  • Travel to support educational programs and to attend professional development opportunities.
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