By Ashley Page, NM WRRI Program Specialist
Approximately 50 attendees from the United States and Mexico participated in the Innovative, Multidisciplinary Water Research to Address the Needs of the US-Mexico Border Corridor workshop at New Mexico State University (NMSU) on June 11, 2019. NMSU and the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute hosted the event in collaboration with colleagues at the Autonomous University of Chihuahua.
The event began with a welcome address from NMSU Vice President of Research, Dr. Luis Cifuentes. Researchers with expertise in a variety of disciplines presented talks on critical border water issues; their presentations framed the afternoon’s small group discussions. Five small theme groups, based on the interests of attendees, were established. The theme groups – transboundary aquifers, water quality, watersheds, water education, and urban water – each brainstormed an innovative research project that met the multidisciplinary strengths of their team. The groups then presented their research project ideas to expert panelists for feedback. Teams will use this feedback to revise their proposals in the coming months to ensure their objectives are fundable and best meet the needs of the border region.
The workshop in Las Cruces took place as part of a larger effort by the National Science Foundation sponsored Border Solutions Alliance (BSA). The BSA is a multi-university collaboration that includes NMSU, University of Arizona, University of California at San Diego, University of Texas at El Paso, and University of Texas at San Antonio. The Alliance hosted two workshops in June – one in San Diego and Tijuana (June 5-7, 2019) and one in El Paso and Las Cruces (June 10-12, 2019) – that sought to facilitate research partnerships among border region experts. The San Diego and Tijuana workshop focused on advanced manufacturing and digital services, intelligent mobility and safe borders, and urban resilience. In addition to the border water resources topic, the El Paso and Las Cruces workshop highlighted disaster management and healthcare.