The NRCS has awarded the Doña Ana County and its Flood Commission the first Planning/NEPA phase of a Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Operations Program for the Rincon Arroyo Watershed. Partners to the project include the NM WRRI, BLM, EBID, and the Caballo Soil and Water Conservation District. This phase aims to create a watershed plan to address the root cause of flooding, vegetation loss in the uplands that scour soils and transport sediment, which in turn clogs downstream riparian areas and over 19 miles of agricultural infrastructure, and overwhelms downstream flood control infrastructure.
The NM WRRI Water and Community Collaboration Lab (WCC-Lab) aims to foster links between the best science, communities, and stakeholders to inform water and environmental decision-making. The WCC-Lab’s goals focus upon collaboratively developing and testing innovative and feasible approaches to the complex issues of water supply and usage in New Mexico. Results of our pilot projects in the Hatch and Mesilla Valley and the Rincon Arroyo watershed within the Valley, have led to funding of several projects by grants that are highlighted on this website
Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID) was selected for award for the Reclamation WaterSMART Drought Response Program. The project entitled, EBID Drought Resiliency Priority Projects: Watershed-scale Stormwater Monitoring and Capture proposes to address program tasks of a) increasing the reliability of water supplies through infrastructure improvements, through stormwater capture and aquifer recharge and b) projects to improve water management through decision support tools, modeling, and measurement, through increased system monitoring and a model decision support tool. NM WRRI will lead the development of an integrated system dynamics model decision-support tool, which will assess the systems’ water balance and related socio-economic data that allows for long-term future trend projection of the effect of stormwater supplies and a scenario of watershed-scale stormwater harvesting.
The NM WRRI has been selected for award by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) for a Watershed Implementation grant funded by EPA Clean Water Act Section 319 funds. The Rincon Sub-basins 319 Project implements a watershed restoration plan with the primary objective to reduce sediment transport including E. coli to the impaired reach of the Rio Grande through small-scale, low impact restoration practices. This project will also inform future project proposals within the larger Rincon Arroyo Watershed.
By organizing conferences and workshops such as the Annual New Mexico Water Conference—held each year since 1956—the Animas and San Juan Watersheds Conference, as well as an array of technical workshops, NM WRRI provides a forum to share water research findings, inform stakeholders, and ultimately address the pressing water issues facing New Mexico and the southwest.
Dr. Antonio Lara and the Clean Drinking Water Team from New Mexico State University establish technologies for the treatment of heavy metals and pathogens from scarce and contaminated water sources, surface and ground, to produce potable water. Investigation results show that clay ceramic pellets effectively treat and help solve the intractable problem of water contaminated by uranium in New Mexico. The technologies convert polluted water to potable water inexpensively and are usable worldwide.
- Acequia irrigators in northern NM – surface water and groundwater data on the web
- Ranchers in central NM – soil moisture and forage growth
- Irrigators in southern NM – stakeholder co-developed irrigation and crop planning
- Community planners in the Rincon watershed – restoration to recharge groundwater
The South Central New Mexico Stormwater Management Coalition’s (Stormwater Coalition’s) proposal was selected for award by the Bureau of Reclamation for their WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program. The goals of the two-year project are to develop a community-based comprehensive watershed plan, prioritize project designs for the region, extend the group’s organizational development, increase collaborator development and community outreach, and assemble a diverse technical and stakeholder task force to develop the plans. The project management team includes NM WRRI as sub recipient and project planner, the Doña Ana County Flood Commission, the Elephant Butte Irrigation District, the Alamosa Land Institute, and the Jornada Resource Conservation & Development Council as fiscal agent.