Demonstration of Irrigation Return Flow Salinity Control in the Upper Rio Grande (Year 1)
The general objective of this demonstration project was to show the feasibility of alternative water management practices on the quality of drainage return flow and soil salinity in the Upper Rio Grande basin. The project consists of a 450-acre demonstration site, a four-acre test site, and a hydrosalinity model. On the 450-acre demonstration site, a combination of present-day irrigation techniques will be used to show how, through modern water management, the irrigation return-flow quality and quantity can be improved. The feasibility of irrigating at or near 100 percent efficiency with water of medium salinity (1,200 ppm), while maintaining optimum crop yields over a period of many years will be shown on a four-acre test site. The hydrosalinity model will be tested for the Mesilla Valley conditions.
This report summarizes progress achieved from February 17, 1975 to February 16, 1976 on the project plan of work. This interdisciplinary research effort in the first year entailed primarily planning, construction of physical equipment, and monitoring farming practices on the 450-acre demonstration farm located near La Mesa in the Mesilla Valley. A second major effort involved preliminary testing in the Mesilla Valley of a hydrosalinity model developed by the Bureau of Reclamation for the Environmental Protection Agency. This model permits prediction of the quality of irrigation return flow from a drainage basin. A third major area in this research effort is to study the effect of irrigating at or near 100 percent efficiency.
Project No. 3109-313