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New Mexico University Researchers Assess Water Supply Challenges

June 28, 2016

In 2014, New Mexico’s State Legislature funded a New Mexico Universities Working Group to look at the state’s water supply vulnerabilities. The Group was asked to (1) assess the current status of water supply and demand after years of severe drought in New Mexico; (2) put the current drought into long-term context with reduced surface water, groundwater depletions, and economic activity; and (3) develop a list of vulnerabilities and promote policy strategies to mitigate these vulnerabilities. The research focused on the Lower Rio Grande.

Researchers from all three research universities in New Mexico participated in the study and included both water and social scientists. The Group included Janie Chermak, UNM Professor of Economics; David Gutzler, UNM Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences; Peggy Johnson, Principal Hydrogeologist with NM Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources at NM Tech; J. Phillip King, NMSU John Clark Distinguished Professor in the Civil Engineering Department; and UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research Professor Lee Reynis. The researchers were assisted by several undergraduate and graduate students.

The Groups Final Report to the Interim Committee on Water and Natural Resources was presented in August 31, 2015. The report includes an executive summary with Key Findings, Recommendations, and Principal Vulnerabilities. Click Here to view the report.

FY 16 Student Water Research Grant Program

December 10, 2015

Undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students eligible! Proposal Due September 11, 2015

Students enrolled full-time in a degree program at an New Mexico educational institution are eligible for water related research grants of up to $6,000. Projects will start October 1, 2015. For more information and proposal guidelines Click Here.

Fiscal Year 2016 Request for Proposals

December 10, 2015

NM WRRI Faculty Directed Graduate Student Research Program

Closing Date: 5:00 p.m., November 16, 2015

RFP available at FY 2016 NM WRRI Faculty Directed Graduate Student Research Program

The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (NM WRRI) announces the availability of U.S. Geological Survey 104B grant funds. These funds are made available through the Water Resources Research Act to support research that improves management of the waters of the state of New Mexico. For Fiscal Year 2016, NM WRRI anticipates funding two $30,000 grants with 104B funds. The final number of funded projects is contingent on funding.

Funding is intended primarily to support graduate students. Proposals are welcomed from any academic discipline; they must identify a significant water resources problem and conduct applied or basic research that will be part of the proposed solution. Principal investigators must hold tenure-track positions at a New Mexico university. For this funding cycle, proposals are sought in two priority topic areas:

  • integrated statewide water budget processes and components

  • water planning and management

  • water quality projects

USGS 104G Water Resources Research National Competitive Grants Program Fiscal Year 2015

June 3, 2015

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please contact NM WRRI Director Sam Fernald (575-646-4337; or Cathy Ortega Klett, (575-646-1195; as soon as possible. Proposal and budget should be reviewed by NM WRRI no later than February 10, 2015.

The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources requests proposals for matching grants to support research on the topic of improving and enhancing the nation’s water supply and availability, and promoting the exploration of new ideas that address or expand our understanding of water problems. Included are the following specific areas of inquiry (levels of priority are not assigned, and the order of listing does not indicate the level of priority):

  • Evaluation of innovative approaches to water treatment, infrastructure design, retrofitting, maintenance, management and replacement.

  • Exploration and advancement of our understanding of changes in the quantity and quality of water resources in response to a changing climate, population shifts, and land use changes; including associated economic, environmental, social, and/or infrastructure costs.

  • Development of methods for better estimation of water supply, both surface and groundwater, including estimation of the physical supply and of the economic supply of water.

  • Development and evaluation of processes and governance mechanisms for integrated surface/groundwater management.

  • Evaluation and assessment of the effects of water conservation practices, as well as adoption, penetration and permanence.

This program provides university researchers with up to $250,000 for projects of 1 to 3 years in duration. It requires a 1:1 non-federal match. The intent of the program is to encourage projects with collaboration between universities and the USGS. Funds have not been appropriated for this program but the USGS is proceeding with the proposal solicitation process in case an appropriation is received. General information on this program is available at Links are provided to information on past year funding and the 2015 RFP.

Researchers must submit their proposal online at the  website. The deadline is February 19, 2015, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.