The NM Office of the State Engineer along with federal agency U.S. Geological Survey, and programs such as the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program and the Canadian River Riparian Restoration Project participated. Several posters were presented by the private sector including Hawley Geomatters, NV5 Inc, Swanson Geoscience, and Tetra Tech, Inc.
Sandia National Laboratories has been very generous in its financial support of the poster session over many years and NM WRRI is grateful for their continued sponsorship.
Click here to view poster abstracts of research presented at the NM WRRI annual water conference.
The next tour stop took participants across the valley to the west side of the Gila valley to view another proposed off-stream storage site at Winn Canyon. Continuing south, the group made its way to the existing diversion that supplies Bill Evans Lake where the tour ended. Much appreciation to Anthony Gutierrez for hosting the tour.
Attorney Jeffrey Wechsler opened the conference with his talk, Where does all the water go in New Mexico? Jeff’s overview of New Mexico’s water setting was divided into the topic areas of: Where does the water come from? How is water used in New Mexico? Where does the water go? Presented was a review of compacts, adjudications, water development, and current litigation. His presentation set the tone for the conference topics and presenters addressing policy direction and opportunities; vegetation management and water yield; preserving agriculture against new demands; water resiliency; monitoring surface, groundwater, and vegetation relationships; groundwater recharge; and managing drought risks through water banks. Proceedings of the conference will be available and posted on the NM WRRI website.
The 2016 Albert E. Utton Memorial Water Lecture by former Senator Jeff Bingaman was well received. His talk on Rethinking Western Water Management discussed three questions: What are our water policy objectives in the West? How well are our current laws and policies designed to achieve those objectives? How can we do better? Senator Bingaman also listed five objectives to pursue: ensure an adequate supply of water for current and future needs; ensure that our uses of water are sustainable; protect valid existing water rights; ensure our uses of water are consistent with protecting the environment; and facilitate the use of water for highest value purposes. The Senator said that if he identified the right objectives, he felt we can do a better job of aligning our laws, policies, and practices to achieve them. He provided six examples of alternative ways to administer and manage water to show how it can be done.
Planning for next year’s water conference will begin soon and is expected to include another information filled program with current topics, research, and inspiring discussion to formulate new horizons for the water resources citizenry to aim toward.
A number of years ago, the PRRC began to compile data on the quality and quantity of produced water into the New Mexico Water and Infrastructure Data System (NM WAIDS) database as part of a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The project entailed the design and creation of a water quality database, web-based interfaces to the data including a GIS map server, and integral tools to provide operators and regulators with necessary data and useful information to help them make management and regulatory decisions regarding produced water.
The work just completed was started in 2014, and it has completely upgraded and revised the NM WAIDS database and web site, while maintaining much of the functionality of the old site. The goals of the project were to improve the database quality, recode and upgrade the web site, and add new data and GIS functionality. The water quality database has been augmented, standardized, quality checked, and published online. Over 2,700 new records have been added, and all data have undergone verification and correction. GIS data are available through NM WRRI at: https://nmwrri.nmsu.edu/produced-water/maps/, while the database can be searched and tabular data downloaded via PRRC’s website at http://octane.nmt.edu/gotech/water/producedwater.aspx/.