U.S. Senator Tom Udall moderated a panel discussion and provided an update on efforts associated with the 2012 Conference Report, a product of NM WRRI’s 57th Annual New Mexico Water Conference. Senator Udall was joined by his cousin Brad Udall – a senior water and climate research scientist at Colorado State University’s Colorado Water Institute – in a lively and informative exchange on our limited water resources in the arid Southwest.
On the morning prior to the start of the conference, two field trips were offered and over 50 people took advantage of the opportunity. The Bureau of Reclamation hosted a trip to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge with stops along the way at the low flow conveyance channel, at Cañas Arroyo where Reclamation is monitoring high runoff and westward erosion, and at the pilot realignment project on the Refuge. NM WRRI appreciates the Reclamation staff who were very knowledgeable about the projects and did an excellent job hosting the field trip: Michael Vollmer, Jonathan AuBuchon, Aubrey Harris, and Cameron Herrington.
The other field trip, hosted by Stacy Timmons and colleagues from the Aquifer Mapping Program at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, ventured to the San Agustin Plains. Participants learned about the hydrogeology of the area and the state’s pending water rights application for 54,000 acre-feet/year and proposed transfer of groundwater to the Rio Grande region. The group visited two multi-generation family owned ranches in the area and discussed the issues associated with transferring water from the region.
A record number of posters were presented at this year’s conference ‒ 48, of which 40 were given by students. The poster session is always a highlight of the conference and it provides a perfect opportunity to exchange information and showcase water research projects. Students are able to network with water professionals, and on occasion have even been offered job opportunities at the poster session.
Most speaker slides, as well as video of most of the sessions, are available on the conference website.
Planning has started for the NM WRRI’s 63rd Annual New Mexico Water Conference. Dates for the 2018 conference will be announced in early 2018. We hope to see you there.