New Mexico Water eNews


August 2020

Early Registration and Call for Poster Abstracts Open
for 65th Annual New Mexico Water Conference

by Mark Sheely, NM WRRI Program Coordinator

Join NM WRRI as we host the 65th Annual New Mexico Water Conference.
This year will mark the first time the annual conference has been held completely online. We hope this year’s format will allow more opportunities for researchers, agency personnel, students, and stakeholders from all over the state to participate and hear presentations on New Mexico’s pressing water needs. A conference program will be posted soon.

A highlight of each year’s annual water conference is a poster session where participants can learn about current water research taking place around the state and region. This Call for Poster Abstracts seeks abstracts for posters on any water research or management topic. We encourage interested students, researchers, and practitioners to submit poster abstracts via the online submission process. Abstracts for consideration for posters will be accepted through October 2, 2020. Notification of poster acceptance will be announced by October 9, 2020. This year’s online poster session, scheduled for Wednesday, October 28, will offer a wonderful opportunity for virtual networking with state and regional water experts.

For abstract submission guidelines and more information, click here.

Those who take advantage of our early webinar registration will be entered into a series of giveaway drawings that will take place throughout the conference.

So, don’t wait! Register now, and we will see you soon on Zoom.

Register Here!
View of Nambe Lake from the top of Deception Peak, Santa Fe National Forest.
Strenuous hike rewarded by magnificent views.

Meet the Researcher

Julie Tsatsaros, Instructor/Visiting Associate Professor,
New Mexico Highlands University

by Jeanette Torres, NM WRRI Program Coordinator

This month we are meeting Julie Tsatsaros, who is an instructor/visiting associate professor in the Forestry Department at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU). She has been in her position for four years, and currently teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on environmental science, aquatic ecology, watershed management, surface water hydrology, lake ecology (limnology), environmental toxicology, and applied forestry research methods.

Within her teaching curriculum, she prioritizes integrating knowledge from numerous areas of study (water science, forestry, ecology, economics, social science, public policy, etc.) to give students a well-rounded view of resource management with the understanding that all problems are multi-dimensional. This is key because in order to provide a sustainable solution to a problem all aspects must be examined and evaluated. According to Julie, she feels the most important aspect of her position is to provide students with a scientifically relevant and progressive educational understanding of the natural environment that will help improve the sustainable utilization and stewardship of land, water, and forest resources.

Read entire article by clicking here.

Ryan Zowada, Chemical Engineering PhD student from NMSU.

NMSU Student Receives NM WRRI Student Water Research Grant to Study Soil Water Loss and Capillary Forces
by Marcus Gay, NM WRRI Student Program Coordinator

Soil can lose water through evaporation, percolation, and transpiration. Evaporation meaning water vapor lost to the atmosphere, percolation meaning the drainage/downward movement of water, and transpiration meaning water lost through the stomata of plant leaves. In arid and semi-arid regions, there can be even more soil water loss due to high temperatures and sandy soils.

Ryan Zowada, a Chemical Engineering student at New Mexico
State University, was awarded an NM WRRI 2020-2021 Student Water Research Grant to explore how to decrease soil water loss by increasing capillary forces in the soil. The project entitled, Biodegradable Porous Hydrogel Water Retaining Additives Designed to Improve Irrigation Efficiency in Arid Climates, aims to add a biodegradable porous hydrogel to soil to act as a water reservoir. The hydrogel would absorb water during irrigation and desorb water during plant water uptake.

Read entire article by clicking here.

Cover image of Technical Completion Report No. 386

NM WRRI Publishes Technical Completion Report
by Carolina Mijares, NM WRRI Program Manager

NM WRRI announces the publication of technical completion report no. 386,
a joint publication with the Bureau of Reclamation and its Desalination and Water Purification Research Development Program (Report No NMSU007).
In 2016, NMSU faculty member Dr. Reza Foudazi received funding through a cooperative agreement between Reclamation and New Mexico State University entitled, “Center for the Development and Use of Alternate Water Supplies.”

In-situ Synthesis of Antibacterial Ultrafiltration and Microfiltration Membranes with Controllable Pore Size by Dr. Foudazi and Sahar Qavi is a study to produce antibacterial ultrafiltration and microfiltration membranes for water and wastewater treatment. This study led to patent-pending technology for applications in the bioprocessing and biopharmaceutical industries. The report is available in its entirety on the NM WRRI website by clicking here.

Aashish Khandelwal, a PhD student from UNM, working at a water quality monitoring station in Valles Calderas, New Mexico.

UNM Student Receives NM WRRI Student Water Research Grant to Develop Smart Sensing Technology to Characterize Aquatic Ecosystems
by Marcus Gay, NM WRRI Student Program Coordinator

Climate change, drought, and water scarcity are critically important issues in the western United States. Answers to questions like how much water do we have, what is the quality of this water, how much water does our natural environment need, and how should water be shared are vital for the economy, the environment, and the standard of living in places like
New Mexico.

To help answer questions associated with aquatic mass balances, mass-energy balances, and, most importantly, water management,
Aashish Khandelwal has proposed the development of a novel smart sensing technology called The Navigator. Khandelwal, a Civil Engineering PhD student at the University of New Mexico (UNM), has been awarded an NM WRRI 2020-2021 Student Water Research Grant to work on his project entitled, Development of The Navigator: A smart sensing system to characterize aquatic ecosystems.

Read entire article by clicking here.

Oil, gas, and CO2 producing regions of New Mexico (Zemlick, et al., 2018).

UNM Researchers Perform a Quantitative Analysis
of Water Used and Wastewater Produced by the
Oil and Gas Industry

by Carolina Mijares, NM WRRI Program Manager

Each month NM WRRI is featuring an eNews article describing an individual focus of the ongoing New Mexico Universities Produced Water Synthesis Project (NMUPWSP). The NMUPWSP seeks to support integrated research from different disciplines using a systems approach to show the potential impacts of produced water on NM water budgets, and it complements the
New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium led by New Mexico State University and the NM Environment Department. This month we are featuring research being carried out by Drs. Bruce Thomson and Janie Chermak at
The University of New Mexico (UNM).

Dramatic changes in the relationship between oil, gas, and water have been the result of increasing development of unconventional shale resources. Some of the more notable changes include demand for large volumes of water required for hydraulic fracturing, increased volumes of produced water, new opportunities and technologies for treating and reusing produced water, and limitations of produced water disposal by injection into salt water disposal wells. It is, therefore, important to understand how future operations will affect water demand and produced water production by the oil and gas industry in New Mexico.

Read entire article by clicking here.

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