New Mexico Water eNews


August 2016

Michael Wine working in the 2013 Thompson Ridge burn scar in Valles Caldera in June 2016. Following a wildfire many aspects of water cycling—ranging from transpiration to groundwater recharge—are altered indefinitely. Photo by Bob Wine.

Student Grant Proposals Due September 12, 2016
by Catherine Ortega Klett, Program Manager

Over the past dozen years, the NM WRRI has received state funding periodically to support the NM WRRI Student Water Research Grant Program. The institute has been fortunate in the past three years to have the support of the New Mexico State Legislature and able to offer the grants to students conducting water-related research throughout the state. Since its inception in 2003, 90 university students in New Mexico at the undergraduate and graduate levels have received awards.

The grants support the training of New Mexico’s future water experts and have been acknowledged as an often critical factor in the ability of students to conduct research and complete their degree programs. Read more

Click here for Proposal Guidelines (PDF).

New Mexico Water Budget Model Undergoes Refinement
by Joshua Randall, NM WRRI Program Specialist

As part of the Statewide Water Assessment, NM WRRI, Tetra Tech, UNM, and other affiliates have completed the first version of the Dynamic Statewide Water Budget Model (DSWBM) for New Mexico. This is an effort to account for the origin and fate of New Mexico’s water resources through time. Public access to the model will be available in the near future. Users will be able to set the model to run for any time period from January 1975 to December 2010 in monthly increments, and for any of four spatial resolutions: state, water planning region, river basin, and county.

The main goal of the DSWBM is to provide a consolidated account of all of the historical trends and to forecast future trends of New Mexico’s water resources in an easily accessible format. The model is designed to incorporate all water in New Mexico at any given time. This is done through the use of “stocks” and “flows.” Stocks are the given amount of water in one area at a time. Flows are the movement of water between these stocks. Four stocks are used in the model: the land surface (includes moisture in vegetation, etc.), surface water (rivers and streams), human storage (irrigation canals, reservoirs), and groundwater. Read more

8.0 General NM MCLE Credits Approved
for the
61st Annual New Mexico Water Conference

October 5-7, 2016 – Silver City, NM

  For conference information click here.

NM WRRI Welcomes Water Policy Analyst Post-Doc
by Catherine Ortega Klett, Program Manager

María Milanés-Murcia, a native of Madrid, Spain recently joined the NM WRRI. She is currently working on several institute initiatives including the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (a federally funded project that is characterizing aquifers along the US-Mexico border) and the New Mexico Statewide Water Assessment (a state funded project that will provide water budget components for the entire state such as evapotranspiration, crop consumptive use, groundwater recharge, and streamflow). Read more

Workshop participants learned about the projects underway at the Brackish National Groundwater Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo from facility manager, Randy Shaw (right).

Workshop on Use of Alternative Water Held in Las Cruces
by Ashley Page, NMSU Graduate Student Assistant

NM WRRI hosted a two-day workshop on August 15-16, 2016 for the New Mexico State University–Bureau of Reclamation collaborative partnership on Research for the Development and Use of Alternative Water Supplies. The project aims to increase knowledge and research expertise regarding alternative water supplies. Researchers and community stakeholders attended the workshop to determine a pertinent path for the partnership. Read more

Press Release Issued by Lower Rio Grande Water Users
on Texas’ Water Lawsuit


Texas’ lawsuit over water deliveries from New Mexico and Colorado, persistent water supply and demand stresses and the desire to sustain the quality of life enjoyed by so many southern New Mexicans, has brought together some unlikely allies who are trying to adopt groundwater management policies to address these challenges. In order to move this effort forward, the New Mexico State Engineer, Mr. Tom Blaine met recently with representatives of the Lower Rio Grande Water Users (the “Water Users”) to discuss ways to implement a plan to better manage water resources and resolve pending disputes over the use of water in the Lower Rio Grande basin. The plan, known as the Settlement Framework, was recently adopted by the Water Users whose members include the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Pecan Growers Association, Southern Rio Grande Diversified Crop Farmers Association, Public Service Company of New Mexico and Camino Real Regional Utility Authority.

Also attending the planning session were representatives of the Water Resource Research Institute (WRRI), which is a state wide consortium for water research, education and outreach based at New Mexico State University.  Read more

Frank Ward (standing), professor of Agricultural Economics & Agricultural Business at NMSU talks to new and returning WSM students.

Fall Semester at NMSU Kicks Off with Meet and Greet
by Patrick Natoni, WSM Program Coordinator

The Water Science and Management (WSM) Graduate Program at NMSU held its annual Fall Meet and Greet Mixer at the Stan Fulton Center’s 3rd Floor Bistro. NMSU water faculty, administrators, current, and new students attended the event. Director of the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute and Professor of Watershed Management, Dr. Sam Fernald, welcomed everyone and introduced members of the WSM Steering Committee. Dr. Loui Reyes, Dean of the NMSU Graduate School, and Dr. Vimal Chaitanya, Vice President for Research attended as well.

The mixer allowed WSM students and faculty to interact, share their experiences, discuss their research and academic goals, and just get a great feel on beginning a new year in the program. WSM students met with their faculty advisors, and current students encouraged new students and welcomed them to campus. When the WSM began in 2011, it had four students starting their degree programs, and now the program has grown to 35 students with 19 PhD and 16 MS students. The program has a broad diversity of students with 15 international students coming from 12 different countries and 20 domestic students representing Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington. As of August 2016, the program has graduated 12 students with two receiving PhDs and ten completing MS degrees.

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