Efficient Irrigation for Water Conservation in the Rio Grande Basin
Efficient Irrigation for Water Conservation in the Rio Grande Basin
09 Rio Grande Basin Initiative10 Progress and Accomplishments Efficient Irrigation for Water Conservation in 09 the Rio Grande Basin 10 Accomplishments Progress and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Texas AgriLife Research, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station, or the New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service is implied. Texas AgriLife Research All programs and related activities of Texas AgriLife Research, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and the New Mexico Texas AgriLife Extension Service Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service are open to all people, without regard to race, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, religion, or national origin. New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station Produced by AgriLife Communications, Texas A&M System New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service 3583-E 5/10/2010 700 copies
Rio Grande Basin InitiativeSince 2001, the Efficient Irrigation for Water Conservation in the Rio Grande Basin FederalInitiative—known as the Rio Grande Basin Initiative (RGBI)—has saved more than 5 millionacre-feet of water. Researchers, Extension specialists and county Extension agents from TexasAgriLife Research, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and the New Mexico State UniversityAgricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service work with local irrigationdistricts, agricultural producers, homeowners, and regional agencies to meet present and futurewater demand through water conservation and efficient irrigation measures.This project is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food andAgriculture and is administered by the Texas Water Resources Institute and the New Mexico StateUniversity Water Task Force.2009–2010 Partners • USDA - National Institute of Food and Agriculture • Texas AgriLife Research • Texas AgriLife Extension Service • Texas Water Resources Institute • New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station • New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service • New Mexico State University Water Task ForceThis material is based on work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Departmentof Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2009-34461-19772 and Agreement No. 2009-45049-05492.The Texas Water Resources Institute is part of Texas AgriLife Research, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service,and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.On the coverMicrojet spray sprinkler irrigation in citrus is used as a water conservation method (photo by Russell Pankratz ofTexas Water Development Board, taken at last year’s annual conference. Photo submitted by Shad Nelson).
09 Task Areas 102009–2010 AccomplishmentsTexas AgriLife Extension ServiceNew Mexico Cooperative Extension Service AccomplishmentsTask 1 Irrigation District Studies 02Task 2 Irrigation Education and Training 05 Texas AgriLife Extension ServiceTask 3 Institutional Incentives for Efficient Water Use 07 New Mexico Cooperative Extension ServiceTask 4 On-Farm Irrigation System Management 09Task 5 Urban Water Conservation 11Task 6 Environment, Ecology and Water Quality Protection 16Task 7 Saline and Wastewater Management and Water Reuse 21Task 8 Basinwide Hydrology, Salinity Modeling and Technology 252009–2010 County Programs Accomplishments 28Texas and New Mexico2009–2010 AccomplishmentsTexas AgriLife ResearchNew Mexico Agricultural Experiment StationTask 1 Irrigation District Studies 40Task 3 Institutional Incentives for Efficient Water Use 44Task 4 On-Farm Irrigation System Management 48Task 5 Urban Water Conservation 56Task 6 Environment, Ecology and Water Quality Protection 62Task 7 Saline and Wastewater Management and Water Reuse 65Task 8 Basinwide Hydrology, Salinity Modeling and Technology 70Contacts 73
09 Task 3 ExtensionAggie Catch Can available to the publicThe long-awaited Aggie Catch Can, an improved catch-can device that is suitable for auditing both 10 Institutional Incentives for Efficient Water Uselandscape and agricultural irrigation systems, became available to the public. The cans receivednational attention for their unique design and give catch volumes in both milliliters and inches;they come with a stainless steel stand. Within the first three months, 10,000 cans were sold.‘Smart controllers’ offer self-adjusting automated approach Integration of on-farm water demand with distributionto watering landscapesThe “smart controller” testing program continued, with an emphasis on end-user evaluations of how network managementthese controllers will perform as installed in the field as opposed to in the test lab. Smart controllers The CRITERIA model from Italy is being evaluated, which predicts on-farm water requirementspotentially offer a self-adjusting automated approach to watering landscapes. Adjusting irrigation simultaneously on all fields within an irrigation district in a GIS (geographic information systems)runtimes to meet the plants’ water needs throughout the growing season allows water to be more framework. The model shows promise of greatly improving the operational efficiency of irrigationefficiently utilized, thus preventing overwatering due to a fixed timed irrigation schedule. Some Texas districts. The first step is to validate the irrigation demand portion of the model. To do this, threecities have already started mandating smart controller installation with every new irrigation system; test sites have been chosen: a sugarcane field within the Delta Lake Irrigation District area; thehowever, little to no quantitative research has been conducted evaluating controller performance entire Brownsville Irrigation District; and a lysimetric experimental site at the U.S. Department ofunder Texas conditions. The 2008 test results, released in summer 2009, showed inconsistent Agriculture Agricultural Research Service laboratory at Bushland, Texas. This project is still at theperformance among the eight controllers tested. All of the controllers recommended excessive feasibility level. The expected outcome is more efficient water management by district operators whoamounts of irrigation, possibly due to incorrect values for ETo and/or excessively generous plant use forecasts of water ticket requests.coefficients. However, preliminary analysis of the 2009 test results is showing improved performance,indicating that manufacturers have made changes to improve the performance of their products. Hidalgo and Cameron County Irrigation District No. 9 spill data analysis Extension engineers are developing indicators and tools that districts can use to predict theOnline courses developed for landscape and agriculture professionals seriousness and magnitude of spill events as well as procedures for identifying and solving the underlying problems causing excess spills in canal systems. These indicators and tools are composedand irrigation dealers of a series of visual rating surveys—operation and management questionnaires given to the canalThree online courses have been developed and are now available: Irrigation System Electrical Safety operators and district personnel. To develop these indicators and to better understand the spillingand Troubleshooting, designed for landscape and agricultural professionals; Selection, Operation mechanisms, three sites were intensively monitored by directly measuring water level and spilland Management of Center Pivots, for growers and dealers; and Landscape Water Budgeting, for flow and by analyzing daily water sales data. First results indicate that quantity and frequency of aprofessionals. In addition to the online courses, three short courses were conducted in El Paso and spill are related to water sales, rainfall, and water and vegetation marks on the side of canals. TheseSan Antonio. These 32 hours of training focused on landscape irrigation auditing, smart irrigation elements appear to be useful in developing indicators and identifying management improvementcontroller technology, and irrigation scheduling. Students had a 100 percent overall satisfaction recommendations. Analysis of available data must be completed next, with particular attention torate for the courses, with 87 percent planning to make changes and 73 percent planning to benefit water sales and marks on the side of canals. A complete survey of canal control and spill structureseconomically as a result of the trainings. Students also reported a 90 percent total increase in and turnouts must beknowledge for all topics covered. completed. Operational and management questionnairesAppRate Calculator now available for download for canal operators and districtWorking in close cooperation with the state regulatory agency, Version 2 of the AppRate (Application personnel must be finalizedRate) Calculator was developed and is now available for download from the Irrigation Technology and submitted, and results ofCenter Web site at ITC.tamu.edu. AppRate is widely used by designers of wastewater irrigation data analysis must be comparedsystems and by state regulators in reviewing permit applications. AppRate is designed to match to questionnaires to developapplication rates to the water demand of cover crops while minimizing runoff. procedures for identifying and solving the underlying problems that are causingPublications excess spills in canal systems. 06 07Swanson, C., & Fipps, G. (2009). Evaluation of smart irrigation controllers: Initial bench testing results. (TWRI Report No.TR-354). College Station: Texas Water Resource Institute, Texas A&M System. Brownsville IrrigationSwanson, C., Fipps, G., & McAfee, J. (2009, December). Evaluation of uniformity methods in landscape irrigation auditing. District databasePresentation at Turf/Landscape Technical Session of 2009 Irrigation Association Expo, San Antonio, TX. r integration into GIS and the Web Pump flow, meter data, and water account information
09 Task 4 Extension is being integrated into an online GIS application to support the district in its current water management and 10 On-Farm Irrigation System Management conservation efforts. The main objective is to improve the availability and access to real-time and historical flow data and water-use information to provide a higher level of analyses for planning irrigation scheduling and management of daily operations. This also benefits farmers and other water users by providing more timely and efficient irrigation scheduling and more readily Irrigation management information presented at Valley available account information for on-farm management. The proposed tool consists of two components accessible workshops and trainings from the Web: (1) display of the status of pumps and On-farm irrigation information was presented at various workshops and real-time and historic water flow data and (2) access conferences during the 2009 project year. In January, AgriLife Extension to a water account database through an interactive GIS personnel presented information for cotton farmers about irrigation interface. A draft tool was presented to the district’s scheduling at a booth at the Beltwide Cotton Conference in San Antonio, manager, and requests for improvement are being Texas. In May, a Master Gardener training on irrigation auditing was held in implemented. Automatic transfer of real-time water San Benito, Texas. The Cameron County Extension agent organized a four- flow data from the district’s office to the Irrigation hour workshop on irrigation auditing of landscapes and irrigation systems, District Engineering and Assistance (IDEA) Team servers presented to 21 attendants. Another Master Gardener training was held in was set up, to update every 15 minutes. The draft tool Pharr, Texas, in October, focusing on irrigation auditing and the basics of will help the district’s manager design new, simplified irrigation management. The results of subsurface drip irrigation evaluationsdaily management of pump operation and water tickets and will facilitate the sharing of data with were presented to about 30 cotton farmers at a Cotton Incorporated meetinglandowners. in Lubbock, Texas, in October. A 30-minute presentation on fertigation was given at the Irrigation Conference in Mercedes, Texas.Hidalgo County Irrigation District No. 6 database/GIS integrationThe district is undergoing rapid urbanization, which is causing increasing problems for management Irrigation management and systems evaluatedand water deliveries. It currently relies on static maps that are copied and used for various Extension irrigation specialists conduct irrigation managementdistrict planning and operational decisions; this is an inefficient process that cannot keep pace demonstrations in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas using differentwith urbanization. This project demonstrates the benefits of water-account and district mapping irrigation systems. In Cameron County, onions on one farm were irrigatedintegration through GIS. The goal is to improve the availability and access to real-time and historical under drip and furrow irrigation. Several irrigation sensors, such as Echowater-use information to provide a higher level of analyses for scheduling irrigation and managing probes, watermark sensors, and tensiometers were evaluated. The purposedaily operations. This also benefits farmers and other water users by providing more timely of the demonstration was to present irrigation scheduling techniques. Aand efficient irrigation scheduling and more readily available account information for on-farm turf irrigation and side roll sprinkler system was demonstrated on anothermanagement. Extension engineers mapped the district’s water accounts and linked these to its Cameron County farm to evaluate the system’s uniformity and develop andatabase though an online GIS interface. The water-account database is currently being evaluated and irrigation schedule.key missing data identified. Engineers will develop and present recommendations for water-accountdatabase management to make it suitable for integration into GIS and the Web, and they will design Citrus irrigation systems compared and economic analysis developedand present an interactive tool to help the district better manage water orders. Drip and flood irrigation in citrus were compared at a farm in Hidalgo County. Data on the amount of water used and the yield were evaluated. An economic analysis was developed by the farm assistance program to compare these technologies. At another farm in the county, the farmer wasPublications advised on irrigation scheduling using evapotranspiration (ET) and soil water sensors.Huang, Y., & Fipps, G. (2009, September). Developing a modeling tool for flow profiling in irrigation distribution networks. 08International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, 2(3), 1–10. r Irrigation efficiencies evaluated and BMPs demonstrated, improving 09 irrigation management The amount of runoff and water use was determined on surface irrigation of sugarcane to evaluate irrigation efficiencies and detect whether improvements can be made to the management. This demonstration also showed best management practices (BMPs) to reduce nutrient loadings produced by runoff to the Arroyo Colorado. The purpose of the demonstration is to evaluate irrigation efficiencies and quantify runoff. This information is useful to improve the management of surface irrigation systems. Similar surface irrigation demonstrations were conducted on other sugarcane,
09 Task 5 Extensioncorn and sorghum corps in Cameron and Hidalgo counties. In Glasscock, Reagan and Uptoncounties, six subsurface drip irrigation systems were evaluated to document the effect of different 10 Urban Water Conservationmaintenance practices on the performance of these irrigation systems.New Mexico vineyards participate in salinity and moisture sensor studyVineyards in New Mexico will install sensors to assess the impact of moisture and salinity onirrigation water use, crop yield and water quality. Using these evaluations, farmers will be able toexamine the effects of multiple salinity levels in two soil types on moisture readings of reflectance,electrical conductivity, and electrical resistance sensors. Long-term irrigation in arid and semi-aridregions leads to the salinization of soils because rainfall is not sufficient to leach salts away fromthe root zone. An estimated 5 to 10 million hectares of land must be removed from agriculturalproduction each year because of increased salinity. As water quality for agriculture decreases andsalinity in irrigation water increases, using efficient irrigation methods and addressing salinityproblems through root zone management becomes an essential part of farming.Pecan farmers receive information about irrigation schedulingThere are nearly 50,000 acres of pecan trees within the Rio Grande Basin. In 2008 New Mexico andTexas were the second- and third-largest pecan producing states, respectively, with a combinedannual production value of $95.1 million. Information from this project will assist pecan farmers intheir irrigation scheduling, allowing them to optimize water-use efficiency in their mature orchards.Pecan growers in the drier areas of the Rio Grande Basin irrigate more than 56 inches per acre peryear, making pecans one of the highest-water-demanding crops in the arid regions. Informationfrom this study will allow pecan farmers with insufficient available irrigation water to minimize thenegative effects of deficit irrigation on nut yield and quality.Farmers learn about oilseed production using camelina asa sustainable crop Rainwater harvesting sites documentedIncreasing demand for water by rural communities has pressured agriculture to justify the use of Information from rainwater harvesting demonstration sites in the Rio Grande Basin was collectedwater availability on crops that require substantial water. This research is evaluating a high-value into an Excel spreadsheet, which also includes sites from other parts of Texas. The information listedcrop, camelina, that has a water requirement of 8 inches, to improve the long-term sustainability of for each site includes the name, address, GPS coordinates, type of system, size of catchment, size ofcrop production in northeastern New Mexico. Significant interest by local growers has come about storage, type of storage tank, use of water, and filtration. If available, a site photo was also included.by traditional verbal and mail exchanges at the county Extension office, on-site visits to the Clayton The GPS coordinates on the Excel spreadsheet link to the exact demonstration site via Google Earth.Livestock Research Center, and by commercial investors in the biodiesel industry. As a result of thelocal interest, the local county agriculture agent has scheduled an in-depth educational forum on This information will be transferred to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service Rainwater Harvestinggrowing oilseeds, where the principal investigator and other co-investigators will evaluate various Web site, so that agents and the general public can find information on any demonstration siteagro- and economic variables of the current project. Interestingly, Internet exposure of the project on located within the Rio Grande watershed. The Web site will also include an interactive map withmultiple sites has also resulted in numerous inquiries from producers throughout the United States. pinpoints for each demonstration site. Clicking on a pinpoint allows users to see information, photos, and contact information.Publications Electronic site developed for rainwater harvestingEnciso, J., Peries, X., Ribera, L. A., & Santistevan, D. (2009). Understanding and installing drainage systems (Fact Sheet No. information and coursesB-6229). College Station: Texas AgriLife Extension Service. An online course titled Rainwater Harvesting for Livestock and Wildlife has been developed. The 10 course includes presentations, videos, supplemental resources and reading material, homework 11Maier, B., Leinauer, B., & Bawazir, S. (2009, August). An evaluation of moisture and salinity sensors to monitor soil conditions exercises, a pretest and posttest, and evaluation. The course is divided into four modules that can befor agricultural production. Presentation at Rio Grande Basin Initiative Conference, McAllen, TX. administered to an online class over a four-week period. The first course was offered in April 2010.Sevostianova, E., Leinauer, B., Shukla, M., & Maier, B. (2009, August). Accuracy of moisture sensors in saline soils.Presentation at Rio Grande Basin Initiative Conference, McAllen, TX. Rainwater harvesting program and training evaluations prove successfulSevostianova, E., Leinauer, B., Shukla, M., & Maier, B. (2009, October). Evaluation of a tortuosity parameter of a sandy soil The rainwater harvesting program continues to grow and develop. More than 185 Master Gardenerfrom the bulk electrical conductivity measurements. 16th School “Ecology and Soil Science,” Puschino, Russia. r and 91 Master Naturalist volunteers have completed training during the past four years. Master Gardener volunteers have submitted 2,642 hours, valued at $51,519 ($19.50 per hour), contacting
11,727 individuals regarding rainwater rainwater harvesting systems. These systems are diverse and complex and range in catchment surfaceharvesting. Through course evaluations it is area from 25 square feet to more than 1 million square feet. This program addresses commonclear that the participants understand that issues related to catchments that are less than 50,000 square feet and have a storage capacity of lessimplementing rainwater harvesting techniques than 100,000 gallons. The topics covered address the popular and usual distribution of water fordirectly benefits Texas by reducing demand landscapes, pets, wildlife, livestock, and private nonpotable and potable in-home rainwater systems.on the water supply; reducing urban and rural Presentations, additional exercises, and an evaluation were also developed. Trainings are beingrunoff; and reducing erosion, sedimentation scheduled for the upcoming year.and contamination of surface water. Rainwaterharvesting protects surface water supplies by New rainwater harvesting in-home courses inform public aboutlimiting contaminant transport off the land Texas water issuessurface. It also reduces peak stormwater flow Extension specialists also developed the Tap into Rainwater for In-Home Use training course, arates through stream channels and conserves seven- to eight-hour event that focuses on informing the public about the current water situationpotable water supplies through landscape water in Texas, how to harvest rainwater for in-home use, and how to take proper measures to treat andconservation. disinfect rainwater for safe use in the home. Development of the Rainwater Harvesting: System Planning course has strengthened the in-home rainwater training course. The guidance andTwo Master Gardener rainwater harvesting specialist classes and one Master Naturalist rainwater recommendations presented in the training are based on the Texas Commission on Environmentalsteward course were held. The Master Gardener courses were held in Granbury and San Angelo, Quality’s treatment and design recommendations. Evaluation responses from the participantswith both locations drawing participants from across the state. The Master Naturalist course was continue to be positive. Two trainings were held last year, and more are being scheduled for theheld at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area, near Hunt, Texas, in coordination with the Texas upcoming year.Master Naturalist State Conference. Details of each follow.Master Gardener specialist rainwater harvesting training Alternative water source demonstration site fact sheets available Rio Grande Basin Initiative specialists have evaluated and installed numerous rainwater harvestingRio Grande Basin Initiative Extension specialists taught 47 rainwater harvesting specialists in 16-hour demonstration sites across the Rio Grande Basin focusing on available water conservation andtraining events. As part of the requirements to receive a specialist patch in rainwater harvesting, alternative water sources. For each of the demonstration sites, an informational fact sheet has beeneach trainee must volunteer at least 12 hours to teach others about rainwater harvesting. To quantify developed to accompany educational programs associated with the site. The informational factparticipant knowledge gain in specific areas, evaluations are held at the end of the training. Overall, sheets include specifics about system design and performance as well as operation and maintenanceparticipants evaluated the training as excellent, with 60 to 80 percent reporting that they gained procedures. In 2009–2010, five new demonstrations were installed across the Rio Grande Valley.knowledge on the nine topic areas presented. New demonstration site locations include Webb, Midland, El Paso and Starr counties. Specialists have also presented at local and regional meetings regarding water conservation and alternativeMaster Naturalist rainwater steward training water sources for meeting landscape water needs. Presentation topics include water conservation andIn October, Rio Grande Basin Initiative Extension specialists had 29 Master Naturalists complete the quality, rainwater harvesting, and rain gardens. Over the course of 11 meetings, approximately 330two-day, 16-hour training event at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area near Hunt, Texas. As part individuals were informed about these issues.of the requirements to receive their specialist pin as a steward of rainwater harvesting, each traineeis required to volunteer at least 12 hours to teach others about rainwater harvesting. To quantify The Earth-Kind® training module on rainwater harvesting in the landscape has also been developedparticipant knowledge gain in specific areas, evaluations are held at the end of the training. Overall and is available through the Earth-Kind environmental education program, which currently reachesprogram evaluation results were excellent, with 75 to 90 percent of trainees reporting knowledge Extension audiences. The training module includes a video presentation, a quiz and an evaluation.gained in the seven topic areas. Most respondents also indicated a near excellent increase in their Master Gardeners are able to take the course to obtain continuing education credits.ability to educate others on these topics.The rainwater harvesting Web site (rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/index.html) is a key support Rainwater harvesting programs assist homeowners with watermechanism for the rainwater harvesting programs. The Web site has received 32,633 visitors conservationaccessing pages 169,495 times during the past year. Rainwater harvesting programs are providing timely information to assist Texans with water conservation on their properties. Trainings include information on proper design of systems for 12Rainwater harvesting course developed for practitioners aiding capturing rainfall to support landscape irrigation, indoor uses, and water for livestock and wildlife. 13 Rainwater harvesting capture structures were constructed during workshops to provide hands-onin responsible system planning experience and demonstration.Rio Grande Basin Initiative Extension specialists have developed a rainwater harvesting course forpractitioners to aid planners of rainwater harvesting systems in responsible system planning. As Through 2009, information was delivered to 132,511 participants at 22 venues. Results from pre- andpart of the program, a manual titled Rainwater Harvesting: System Planning is in preparation. This posttest evaluations indicated that 93 percent of participants increased their knowledge regardingprogram is intended to assist contractors, consultants, individual landowners, and others in planning uses, limitations, and proper design of rainwater harvesting systems. Six new rainwater harvesting
demonstration sites were established. A rainwater harvesting display at the San Antonio Livestock scope of the project. They will merge this information with existing plant lists provided by projectExposition was viewed by 130,497 attendees. Of those surveyed after viewing the display, 58 percent collaborators. Alex Winterhalter of Koogler Middle School, Aztec, New Mexico, has also beensaid they planned to implement a system for rainwater harvesting within the next 12 months. assisting the team with developing youth-based educational animations and videos. The VirtualThrough a cooperative effort of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Texas Urban Landscape Water Conservation Center is being developed to serve as a clearinghouse ofCommission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Rio Grande Basin Initiative, and the Texas information into a single Web site with integrated services to strengthen educational and ExtensionWater Resources Institute, numerous additional rainwater harvesting workshops will be conducted outreach related to Xeriscaping™,* urban irrigation, and other landscape water conservation topicsacross the state throughout the upcoming year. relative to New Mexico and far west Texas. The center will expand knowledge about demonstration landscapes, increase training opportunities for Extension agents and Master Gardeners, and supportThe Rainwater Harvesting Task Force received the Texas AgriLife Extension Service Team Superior the dissemination of academic and applied research techniques appropriate for cities in New MexicoService Award and was a finalist for the TCEQ 2009 Texas Environmental Excellence Award. and for El Paso, Texas.Fix a Leak Week serves as annual reminder to check for household leaks *Xeriscape is a registered trademark of Denver Water, Denver, CO, and is used here with permission.Because minor water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year inU.S. homes, AgriLife Extension agents in seven Rio Grande Basin Initiative counties promoted Fix a New residents of New Mexico learn about climate variability and waterLeak Week, March 15–21, 2010. Fix a Leak Week is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection conservationAgency’s WaterSense program as an annual reminder to Americans to check household plumbing An Extension specialist at New Mexico State University is using the Community Collaborative Rain,fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks. Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network to promote water conservation and drought preparedness and assist in evaluating and reducing drought impacts. This project will continue the developmentLeaks can add up to more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted in the home every year—enough to fill of the New Mexico CoCoRaHS network through collaboration with the New Mexico Associationa backyard swimming pool. Extension is participating in Fix a Leak Week to help homeowners save of Realtors (NMAR). A water conservation brochure outlining the necessity of water conservationmoney on their utility bills and save water in their community and throughout the state. practices in New Mexico was developed. This project is targeting new residents coming into New Mexico by disseminating an informative brochure about New Mexico climate, water conservationTo help consumers along the Rio Grande save water, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and practices, and the CoCoRaHS network. Currently, 5,000 brochures have been distributed to realtorsWaterSense are promoting ways to identify and repair dripping faucets, running toilets and leaky through NMAR. This project targets individual realtors because they are typically the first contact ofshowerheads. AgriLife Extension county faculty are partnering with local stores that sell plumbing new residents.supplies to secure discounts for WaterSense fixtures and replacement parts. Families will be asked tosign a pledge to follow a checklist to locate leaks and then repair them. It is estimated that for everypledge signed, approximately 11,450 gallons of water will be saved annually. During the 2010 Fix a PublicationsLeak Week, more than 1,500 pledges were secured. DeMouche, L. (2009, February). Community collaborative rain, hail, and snow network training. Presentation to Curry Community, Clovis, NM.Youth water education programs focus on water conservation careersYouth were the focus of water resource educational programs provided through the Kids & Kows DeMouche, L. (2009, February). Community collaborative rain, hail, and snow network training. Presentation to Quay& More and Building Environmental Stewards for Today and Tomorrow (BESTT) programs. Community, Tucumcari, NM.Students in areas experiencing water restrictions learned about the hydrological cycle; projected water DeMouche, L. (2009, February). Community collaborative rain, hail, and snow network training. Presentation to Rooseveltshortages; water conservation, including using harvested rainwater to irrigate landscaping; and water Community, Portales, NM.pollution sources. Students were encouraged to consider careers as water specialists and hydrologists. DeMouche, L. (2009, February). Community collaborative rain, hail, and snow network training. Presentation to USDA-NRCSPrograms were delivered to 4,488 students, many from underserved audiences in Bexar, Brown and Luna County Community, Deming, NM.and Starr counties. Results from pre- and posttest assessments indicated a 92 percent increase DeMouche, L. (2009, June). New Mexico weather data. Presentation at the Chile Association meeting, Deming, NM.in knowledge as a result of the trainings. Through cooperation among county faculty, the TexasCommission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Rio Grande Basin Initiative, and the Texas DeMouche, L. (2009, August). Community rain, hail and snow network. Presentation at Rio Grande Basin Initiative AnnualWater Resources Institute, several additional youth-focused trainings will be conducted across the Conference, McAllen, TX. 14state throughout the upcoming year. DeMouche, L. (2009, October). Community collaborative rain, hail, and snow network training. Presentation to Dona Ana 15 Master Gardener Program.Virtual Urban Landscape Water Conservation Center being developed Lombard, K., & St. Hilaire, R. (2009, August). Establishing a virtual urban landscape water conservation center. PresentationAs part of a classroom exercise, students at San Juan College, Farmington, New Mexico, began at Rio Grande Basin Initiative Annual Conference, McAllen, TX. rto develop a list of native plants appropriate for New Mexico urban landscapes. They submittedinformation on methods of propagation and culture. For the duration of the project, students willcontinue to develop information and module components and identify Web links relevant to the
09 Task 6 Extension10 Environment, Ecology and Water Quality Protection is 2.24 miles from the original release site and 0.36 miles off the river. Beetles had likely dispersed further because they were still active at that time of year. Saltcedar beetles were released at two new sites, approximately 1 mile apart, on the Pecos River near the town of Imperial. Two sibling species—Crete and Tunis—were placed into walk-in cages at this site in April and May, respectively, to determine which were better adapted to the area. Cages were checked in early July, and 80 percent of the saltcedar in the Crete cage was defoliated. In four minutes 249 larvae were found, so the cage cover was removed to allow beetles to disperse. The saltcedar Herbicidal control of invasive species evaluations continue in the Tunis cage was not noticeably defoliated, and only 15 larvae and 13 adults could be found Herbicidal control plots were established near Harlingen for screening of various herbicides for in four minutes. The cage cover was not removed. Both sites were checked again in late July; only control of giant cane (Arundo donax). Additionally, plots established in 2008 in cooperation with five adult Crete beetles were found. Beetles in the Tunis cage had defoliated the saltcedar in cage. local irrigation districts and industry representatives were evaluated. Specialists continue to evaluate Unfortunately, many had starved before the cover was removed. Tunis beetle survival at this site will new herbicides for control of saltcedar. Plots have been established for three years, 2007–2009, to not be known until later in 2010. evaluate a new, unregistered herbicide being developed by DuPont as to efficacy for controlling saltcedar. This work will continue for at least two more years. Plots have been established using Beetles were not found at the Leon Springs site; however, ants were not controlled at this site. ground broadcast, individual plant foliar, individual plant basal, and cut stump application methods. Attempts will be made to reestablish beetles at this site during 2010 using ant bait to temporarily In all, eight individual studies have been established. In addition, specialists began studying the use of eliminate ant predation. The ant predation study conducted in 2008 provided scientific evidence Clearcast herbicide, produced by BASF, for use on Chinese tallowtree. Aerial application plots were that ants are a significant predator of saltcedar beetle pupae, larvae and eggs. However, ants did established on Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) land near Katy, Texas, to evaluate different rates and not account for all predation of pupae, thus an additional study was conducted in September 2009 tank mixes. This work is in cooperation with KPC and BASF. to determine other predatory animals of saltcedar beetle pupae. Data have not yet been analyzed. Observations show that ants (Monomorium, Crematagaster, and unknown genera) and crickets Beetles continue to defoliate saltcedar trees (Gryllidae) fed on or carried away saltcedar beetle pupae. However, the most prevalent predators Saltcedar beetles continued to thrive at the Zeman Ranch site. Monitoring dispersal of the beetles observed in this study were Isopods (sow bugs or pill bugs). This finding is interesting because these at this site showed that they completely defoliated approximately two river miles of saltcedar and arthropods are not generally known as predators, yet in this study, Isopods were clearly seen feeding had dispersed out to five river miles. Beetles could also be found up to 0.5 miles off the river, as on saltcedar beetle pupae. Further analysis and study of this finding is needed. documented by the landowner, and one beetle was found on a saltcedar tree off Highway 1216, which The Imperial Reservoir (Wight Ranch) site was checked in late May; no beetles were found. Overwintering beetles at this site probably drowned, because the area along the Imperial Reservoir is subject to periodic flooding. Five hundred Crete beetles were released at this site in late July to attempt reestablishment. Beetles released into cages at Adam’s Ranch and BBNP in November 2008 apparently did not survive the winter, as no beetles were found in the cages. This probably occurred partly because too few overwintering beetles were put into the cages and mortality of overwintering adults is high. Efforts will continue at this site. Extension entomologists worked with a Big Bend National Park botanist to set up walk-in cages at two new sites (near Santa Elena Canyon and Boquillas Canyon) to establish saltcedar beetles. One cage was infested with 100 Tunis beetles and the other with 100 Crete beetles. National park employees maintained both sites throughout the summer. In late October, the Extension entomologists traveled to both sites to determine beetle establishment. At the Crete site beetles could not be found and saltcedar did not appear fed upon. This site was wet and muddy, which may have contributed to the failure of beetle establishment. However, the Crete beetle ecotype may not be adapted to this environment. Tunis beetle adults and larvae were found up to 30 meters from the release tree, with saltcedar showing signs of feeding damage. U.S. Department of Agriculture 16 scientists used an environmental model to determine that the Tunis beetle ecotype is better adapted 17 to the environment along the southern portion of the Rio Grande. The findings at the Tunis site support the model results. Efforts to establish saltcedar beetles continued at the Cade Ranch near Iraan, Texas, with the open field release of 10,000 Crete beetles at site 1 and 4,000 Crete beetle at site 2, approximately 2 miles downriver. Beetles were collected from the Beals Creek site (Big Spring, Texas) in early September
and released at the Water savings include reduced pumping costs, reduced percolation or seepage, reduced evaporation,Cade Ranch site. and reduction of mosquito breeding areas. Total water savings have not been estimated. These areBoth release sites continuing demonstrations. Herbicide recommendations for control of water hyacinth and waterwere checked in late lettuce continue to be followed by Cameron County Irrigation Districts No. 2 and No. 6, respectively.September; no adults These programs have resulted in significant savings, in water previously lost to evapotranspirationor larvae were found and in labor and equipment costs. Since water hyacinths increase evapotranspiration by 200 to 300at site 1, and only percent, the water savings are significant but difficult to calculate.three adults and sixlarvae were found at Extension rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation demonstrationsite 2. This was not establishedunexpected, because The Rio Grande Basin Initiative and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service partnered to establishmany beetles collected rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation in the flowerbed at the District 6 Extension office. Activeat this time of year are rainwater harvesting captures the first 900 gallons of rainfall, and a passive rain garden captures thepreparing to diapause second 900 gallons of rainfall in the flowerbed. The previous irrigation system, which irrigated withand are no longer potable water, has been removed. In addition, Master Gardeners from the Midland-Odessa Chapterreproductively active. were consulted to ensure proper plants were salvaged for the landscaping. Gravel mulch was applied to the surface to promote increased infiltration and moisture conservation.Private water well screening programs further educate well ownersPrivate water well owners in the Texas Rio Grande Basin use well water for irrigating crops and Web sites provide a resource for invasive plant and aquatic specieslandscapes, providing water to livestock and wildlife, and for drinking water supplies in their homes.Public water supplies are generally of good quality and are monitored according to requirements identification An invasive species Web site was constructed and continues to be updated. It can be viewed atmandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. However, private well owners are independently essmextension.tamu.edu/plants/invasives. After plant descriptions and photographs have beenresponsible for monitoring the quality of their wells and are frequently at greater risk for exposure collected, specialists will compile a printed version of the Web site.to compromised water quality. In addition, salinity concentrations may render private well waterunsuitable for irrigation. Well water with elevated salinity concentrations may damage soils and The AQUAPLANT Web site was updated with new photos, FAQs, and new chemical managementplants and be rejected by, or even harmful to, livestock and wildlife. Management and protection techniques. The site is located at aquaplant.tamu.edu. The AQUAPLANT Web site had more thanof private, domestic water sources are under the control of the landowner and therefore depend 252,000 visitors in 2009, viewing pages 1,133,000 times.primarily on education rather than regulation.Private water wells were screened for salinity, fecal coliform and nitrate concentrations for 298 Farmers and EBID learn how to manage horsetail growth inparticipants in Brooks, Duval, Edwards, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Starr, Real, Val Verde and Webb irrigation canalscounties. Samples from Webb County also were tested for hydrocarbons to address concerns related Equisetum, or horsetail, as many farmers in the Mesilla Valley know it, is a dominant species alongto industrial activity around the county’s water wells. Samples from Brooks, Duval, Jim Hogg and the irrigation canals. Horsetail presence is a concern to the managers of Elephant Butte IrrigationJim Wells counties also were screened for arsenic, a naturally occurring element occasionally found District (EBID) because of its impact on irrigation management and efficiency. The horsetailin groundwater in these counties. interrupts and slows water flow, resulting in wasted water that could be used for irrigation. Little is known about why horsetail has grown to the extent that it has, but this study will examine andIn addition to the demonstrations, presentations were delivered regarding well water quality, measure changes in soil properties and vegetation in locations infested with horsetail to determinewell siting, wellhead and aquifer protection, and techniques for remediating identified water well how these factors affect spread. The project is in collaboration with EBID to develop managementcontamination to protect human health, as well as to safeguard aquifer integrity. Results from strategies for horsetail in their irrigation canals.pre- and posttest assessment of training effectiveness indicated that nearly 95 percent of participantsincreased their knowledge regarding proper private water well management. Particular emphasis Ecology of irrigation system wetlands along the Rio Grande Basinwas placed on evaluating whether salinity concentrations in screened well water were appropriate of New Mexico studiedfor irrigating plants and protective of beneficial soil properties. 18 Considerable tension exists along the Rio Grande where agricultural water users are under attack 19 to surrender water to keep the Rio Grande wet during climatically dry years. This project willControl demonstrations for submerged aquatic vegetation reduced or assist in identifying strategies allowing the two to work in harmony. As populations have growneliminated infestations in the Rio Grande Valley, so has the degree of modification of the river’s ecology. There are ever-The grass carp demonstrations have reduced or eliminated submerged aquatic vegetation, particularly increasing demands for conversion of agricultural uses of water to urban uses, and the biota of aridhydrilla, from irrigation canals. This treatment reduces costs associated with labor, equipment and land rivers such as the Rio Grande are often lost in the tug-of-war between competing interestschemicals. The estimated savings from the six cooperators in 2009 is in excess of $500,000 per year. for water that is often in short supply. Four field demonstrations were conducted with Middle
09 Task 7 ExtensionRio Grande Conservancy District personnel to improve their knowledge of fish identification.Extension attendance at a public meeting on management of a flood retention pond in Las Cruces, 10 Saline and Wastewater ManagementNew Mexico, and participation in an extended e-mail dialogue on this project were able to raisecommunity awareness of the ecology of ephemeral wetlands in the Las Cruces area. Additional and Water Reuseoutreach included (1) dissemination of journal article reprints to state and federal agency managersto raise their awareness of project research results and (2) efforts to increase knowledge of native fishhabitat requirements through meetings with local environmentalists associated with the SouthwestEnvironmental Center in Las Cruces. Personnel began compiling an Extension publication todescribe the fishes that occur in irrigation canals along the Rio Grande in New Mexico. Joint wastewater training event conducted Texas AgriLife Extension Service and New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service personnel worked together to teach on-site wastewater treatment system courses to practitioners. A course using the Analyzing Wastewater Treatment Systems for High-Strength and Hydraulic LoadingPublications training manual was conducted June 18–19, 2009. A total of 57 people attended, including tribalCowley, D. E. (2009, August). NMSU Task 6: Ecology and environment. Presentation at Rio Grande Basin Initiative Annual members and representatives of the New Mexico Department of Environmental Quality and theConference, McAllen, TX. Bureau of Indian Affairs.Hatler, W. L., & Hart, C. R. (2009). Water loss and salvage in saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) stands on the Pecos River, Texas.Journal of Invasive Plant Science and Management, 2, 309–317. Wastewater treatment manual completed The draft OWTS 310 Spray Distribution manual is being reviewed and awaiting approval from theKnutson, A., Muegge, M. A., & Campos, M. (2009). The implementation program for biological control of saltcedar. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for use in training wastewater treatment practitioners.Presentation at Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America meeting, Stillwater, OK. The chapters were completed, with information describing spray loading rates for Texas incorporatedMasser, M. P. (2009). Aquatic vegetation herbicide control water use restrictions (Table 2, revised). Texas AgriLife Extension into the design materials.Service.Masser, M. P. (2009). Treatment response to common aquatic plants to registered(1) herbicides and grass carp (Table 1, Aerobic treatment maintenance short course materials developedrevised). College Station: Texas AgriLife Extension Service. for homeowners Draft short course materials are being developed for homeowners interested in maintaining theirMasser, M. P., & Woods, P. (2009, December). Rio Grande Districts Aquatic Vegetation Management Newsletter. College aerobic treatment units. The materials will include a fact sheet and PowerPoint presentations. AStation: Texas AgriLife Extension Service, in collaboration with Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life workshop to evaluate the materials was conducted at an AgriLife Extension Service county officeSciences, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. on June 24, 2009, followed by an evaluation survey to gain feedback on the course materials andMuegge, M. A. (2009). Biological control of saltcedar and control of insect pests of rangeland. Presentations at Rangeland delivery approach. The evaluation instrument gained background information on the 10 participants,Insects Workshop, Val Verde County, Texas. their perception of the instructor, their perception of the material presented, an assessment ofMuegge, M. A., & Knutson, A. (2009). Effect of ants on establishment of Diorhabda elongata, a biocontrol agent of saltcedar. whether they gained knowledge through participation in the course, an assessment of willingnessPresentation at Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America meeting, Stillwater, OK. to adopt specific practices discussed during the course, whether they will benefit economically from the presented information, what they liked most and least, and what other information shouldSallenave, R. (2009, July). Understanding your watershed. Presentation at the Native American Youth Conservation Corps, be covered.Gallup, NM.Trujillo, D., Cowley, D. E., & Macdonald, K. S. (2009). Investigating biodiversity in two Chihuahuan Desert ponds. Posterpresented at the New Mexico AMP Student Research Conference.Trujillo, D., Cowley, D. E., & Macdonald, K. S. (2009, December). Dispersion capabilities of two Triops species of theChihuahuan Desert. Presentation at Friends of the Mesilla Valley Bosque, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, Las Cruces, NM.Trujillo, D., Cowley, D. E., & Macdonald, K. S. (2009, December). Dispersion capabilities of two Triops species of theChihuahuan Desert. Presentation at the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation Undergraduate ResearchAssistantship Fall 2009 Research Symposium, Las Cruces, NM. 20 21Wyman, B., Wesche, T., Cowley, D. E., Wesche, L., Grogan, S., & Najmi, Y. (2009, June). Large wood creates dynamicfish habitats under variable flow regimes. Presentation at the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society,Albuquerque, NM. r
Overall, the evaluation for agriculture and human consumption. The literature has shown that outreach and educationalresults were extremely programs must be proactive, focusing on the value of reclaimed water and emphasizing the benefitspositive regarding to be gained from its use at an individual, community and environmental level. Using the resultsthe training program. from this project, specialists hope to identify and make recommendations regarding the format ofFrom 70 to 100 percent public outreach programs, stakeholder action plans, and conclusions drawn regarding public opinionof the respondents on recycled water.indicated a gain inknowledge relativeto the key topics. An Publicationsitem of specific interestwas “understanding DeMouche, L., & Hanson, A. (2008, November). On-site wastewater management tribal training program. Presentation at the 12th Annual Tribal Summit, Oklahoma City, OK.of aerobic treatmentunit operation and DeMouche, L., & Hanson, A. (2008, November). Willingness to pay: Septic tank to sanitary sewer conversion. Presentation atmaintenance,” in the American Water Resource Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.which 100 percent of DeMouche, L., & Hanson, A. (2009, February). On-site wastewater training: O&M. 2-day training session presented to Tribes/respondents indicated a Pueblos in New Mexico and NMED, Santa Ana Pueblo, Amerind Risk Management.gain in knowledge. With respect to adoption of management practices, 44 percent of the respondentsindicated they plan to perform operation and maintenance activities on their on-site sewage facility. DeMouche, L., & Hanson, A. (2009, August). On-site wastewater management tribal training. Presentation at Rio GrandeIn addition, 44 percent of respondents indicated a willingness to keep the disinfection component Basin Initiative Annual Conference, McAllen, TX.operating properly. DeMouche, L., Hanson, A., & Lesikar, B. (2009, June). On-site wastewater training: High-strength waste. 2-day training session presented to Tribes/Pueblos in New Mexico and NMED, Santa Ana Pueblo, Amerind Risk Management.On-site wastewater treatment system information being developed Hanson, A., DeMouche, L., Lesikar, B., & Dreager, A. (2010, March). On-site wastewater management: A tribal manual. AESfor public Publication Circular 638.The general public desires to reuse their wastewater for landscape irrigation, but this practice mustbe implemented safely. Two presentations to educate homeowners on wastewater reuse are being Leinauer, B., Gibeault, V., Lauriault, L., Autio, R., Cockerham, S., Kirksey, R., & Ries, S. (2008). Establishment anddeveloped. They will cover the use of graywater for landscape irrigation and safety considerations subsequent spring survival of low maintenance turfgrasses in transition zone climates. European Turfgrass Society Researchassociated with graywater use. Journal, 113–114. Leinauer, B., & Sevostianova, E. (2008). Turf quality of minimally irrigated warm and cool season grasses [CD-ROM]. ASA-Extension specialists will develop an extensive training manual for a 16-hour course describing CSSA-SSSA 2008 International Annual Meetings Abstracts.advanced maintenance of on-site wastewater treatment systems for maintenance providers. An Leinauer, B., Sevostianova, E., Schiavon, M., & Serena, M. (2009). Utilization of saline and other impaired waters for turfgrassextensive manual is also being developed describing the operation and maintenance of these systems. irrigation. Efficient Irrigation for Water Conservation in the Rio Grande Basin 2008–2009 Progress and Accomplishments.The training materials describe key considerations for conducting operation and maintenance ofaerobic treatment units. Leinauer, B., Sevostianova, E., Serena, M., & Schiavon, M. (2009, April). Irrigating turfgrasses with impaired water: Possibilities and challenges. Presentation at European Turfgrass Society Field Days, Valencia, Spain.Study will help turf managers with effects of saline water on grasses Leinauer, B., Sevostianova, E., Serena, M., & Schiavon, M. (2009). Irrigating turfgrasses with impaired water: Possibilities andWork has begun at New Mexico State University to assess and determine whether salt in the soil challenges. Valencia, Spain: European Turfgrass Society Field Days Abstracts.can reach intolerable levels during long-term use of saline water, even when appropriate salt-tolerant grasses are used. Information from this project will help municipalities and developers Leinauer, B., Sevostianova, E., Serena, M., Schiavon, M., & Macolino, S. (2009). Irrigation water conservation for urban lawn areas [Abstract]. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture Conference, Bologna,choose appropriate grasses for saline irrigation water, allowing substantial savings of potable water. Italy.This research will examine the changes in soil salinity below the turfgrass root zone to evaluatethe potential impact of irrigating with saline water. Studies will also determine whether the desert Leinauer, B., Sevostianova, E., Serena, M., Schiavon, M., & Macolino, S. (2009, June). Irrigation water conservation for urbansouthwest (USDA climate zone 8a) has a sufficiently long growing season to successfully establish lawn areas. Presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture, Bologna, Italy. 22and sustain varieties of warm season turfgrasses (bermudagrass, seashore paspalum and zoysiagrass) 23 Leinauer, B., Sevostianova, E., Serena, M., Schiavon, M., & Macolino, S. (2009, August). Task 7: Saline and wastewaterand cool season turfgrasses (alkaligrass, tall fescue, hybrid bluegrass and Kentucky bluegrass) when management and water reuse. Presentation at Rio Grande Basin Initiative Annual Conference, McAllen, TX.exposed to multiple environmental stresses, such as salt, heat and cold. Lesikar, B. (2010, January). Checking my aerobic system: General guidance for monitoring aerobic treatment units, disinfection units and spray fields in Texas (Fact Sheet No. B-6235). College Station: Texas AgriLife Extension Service.Study identifies barriers to, and public perception of, water reuseCommunities and individuals have many unanswered questions about polices, institutions, legal Lesikar, B. (2010, January). Living with an aerobic treatment unit and spray field (Fact Sheet No. B-6234). College Station:and regulatory requirements, and procedures governing water reuse and about public perception of Texas AgriLife Extension Service.using reclaimed water. A survey is being conducted to examine public opinions about water recycling
09 Task 8 ExtensionMacolino, S., Leinauer, B., & Ziliotto, U. (2009). Temporal shifts in plant composition of turfgrass mixtures in response toplant growth regulators [Abstract]. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture 10 Basinwide Hydrology, Salinity ModelingConference, Bologna, Italy. and TechnologyRitsema, C., Dekker, L. W., Oostindie, K., Moore, D., & Leinauer, B. (2008). A practical field method for determining soilwater repellency and critical soil water content. In S. D. Logsdon et al. (Eds.), Soil Science: Step-by-step Field Analyses. SoilScience Society of America.Schiavon, M., Leinauer, B., & Serena, M. (2009, August). Growing degree days to predict warm season turfgrass establishmentunder saline and subsurface drip irrigation. Presentation at the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute’s 2009 New Study will allowMexico Water Research Symposium, Socorro. decision makers toSchiavon, M., Leinauer, B., & Serena, M. (2009, November). Growing degree days to predict warm season turfgrass manage reservoirestablishment under saline and subsurface drip irrigation. Presentation at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA 2009 International Annual storageMeetings, Pittsburgh, PA. Scientists at New MexicoSerena, M., Leinauer, B., & Macolino, S. (2008). Planting date and water quality effects irrigation [CD-ROM]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA State University are2008 International Annual Meetings Abstracts. developing a more accurate method for estimatingSerena, M., Leinauer, B., & Schiavon, M. (2009, August). Dormant seeding and sodding for faster turfgrass establishment under evaporation losses from thesaline and subsurface drip irrigation. Presentation at the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute’s 2009 New MexicoWater Research Symposium, Socorro. Elephant Butte Reservoir. Once established for thisSerena, M., Leinauer, B., & Schiavon, M. (2009, November). Dormant seeding and sodding for faster turfgrass establishment reservoir, the process canunder saline and subsurface drip irrigation. Presentation at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA 2009 International Annual Meetings, be used on other NewPittsburgh, PA. r Mexico reservoirs and lakes. Evaporation at the Elephant Butte Reservoir, in the arid southwest, causes major water losses in terms of the hydrologic balance of the Rio Grande. This study will provide information to help decision makers manage reservoir water storage for more efficient hydroelectric power production. It will also help in assessing water budget requirements for irrigation and other uses in the Lower Rio Grande Basin. Symposium and field tour on acequia hydrology research planned A symposium and field tour is planned for October 2010 to present results from the acequia agriculture hydrology research supported over the past several years by Rio Grande Basin Initiative and USDA-National Research Initiative funding. The symposium will be open to acequia farmers, county Extension agents, water planners and the public. The field tour is designed for county Extension agricultural and natural resource agents. The symposium will provide cutting-edge information synthesis of surface water and groundwater hydrology using valuable field data on traditional acequia irrigation systems. Evapotranspiration model (REEM) to assist Mesilla Valley farmers The Regional ET Estimation Model (REEM) has been extensively validated for pecans. It was the 24 subject of a recent comparison study, sponsored by the New Mexico state attorney general, involving 25 an international expert on remote-sensing applications in irrigated agriculture who reviewed REEM research results at the request of the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer. This project plans to extend the application of REEM to all major crops produced in New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley. This expansion will provide the most accurate values available for field-level, broad-scale consumptive crop water use (e.g., depletion) as well as monthly crop coefficients for all major crops in the Mesilla Valley area.
09 10PublicationsBleiweiss, M., Moreno, J., Bawazir, A. S., Samani, Z., & Sanderson, R. (2009). Coupling atmospheric modeling with mass-trans-fer for operational, real-time estimation of Elephant Butte Reservoir evaporation. Presentation at Rio Grande Basin InitiativeAnnual Conference, McAllen, TX. County Programs AccomplishmentsBleiweiss, M., Moreno, J., Bawazir, A. S., Samani, Z., & Sanderson, R. (2009). Using the Advance Research Weather ForecastingModel (ARW) to estimate evaporation losses at Elephant Butte Reservoir, New Mexico. Poster presented at the 2009 New Texas and New MexicoMexico Water Research Symposium, Socorro.Creel, B. (2009, July). Measuring water from the sky. Water Resource Research Institute, Diving Rod newsletter.Fernald, A. G., Cevik, S. Y., Ochoa, C. G., Tidwell, V. C., King, J. P., & Guldan, S. J. (2009, December). River hydrographretransmission functions of irrigated valley surface water–groundwater interactions. Manuscript submitted for publication.New Mexico State University Media Production. (2009, November). Water accountability [Video]. Las Cruces: New MexicoState University.Ochoa, C. G., Fernald, A. G., Guldan, S. J., & Shukla, M. K. (2010, March). Field observations and modeling of deep percolationin a shallow vadose zone. Manuscript submitted for publication.Samani, Z., Bawazir, A., & Skaggs, R. (2009, May). Water conservation through remote sensing. Presentation at theInternational Conference of Water Resource Management, Thailand.Samani, Z., Bawazir, A., & Skaggs, R. (2010). Estimating daytime and 24-hour net radiation from remote sensing. Manuscriptsubmitted for publication. r
09 County Programs Accomplishments10 percent said they had an above average understanding of GAPs after the training. Rangeland Restoration Educational Series results Webb County Rangeland Restoration Educational Series participants revealed overall learning mean increases from 30 to 61 percent after evaluating all the statements on the retrospective post surveys from Texas each program. Surveys also revealed that the subjects the respondents and participants benefited from the most were fever tick education, prescribed burning, herd health management, rainwater harvesting and District 12 capturing strategies, ranching economics, estate planning, and drought Irrigation water quality study and trainings completed management strategies. The Extension-recommended practices adopted In 2009, Texas AgriLife Extension Service agents and vegetable specialist Juan Anciso completed an by these landowners, who owned a combined total of 323,478 acres in irrigation water quality study conducted in eight District 12 counties. They collected irrigation water Webb County and other counties, will greatly enhance water quality and quality data from 90 sites, using various water sources, including surface and well water. Participating overall rangeland management, affecting both rural and urban residents agents were Barbara Storz, Omar Montemayor, Rolando Zamora, Marcel Valdez, Jaime Lopez, today and in the future. The environmental and social impacts are great Richard Griffin, Joe Taylor, and Omar Gonzales. Most (85 out of 90) of the irrigation water samples for the preservation of Texas water, soil and agricultural land resources. In from sources in District 12 are adequate for furrow or sprinkler irrigation in vegetable crops under 2009, the total economic impact from this outcome program was approximately $296,955, according the guidelines for generic E. coli of the California Leafy Greens GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) to figures provided by the program respondents and participants. Respondents to the year-end Agreement. Of the five water samples that could not be used under furrow or sprinkler irrigation, survey also revealed saving an average of $4.63 per acre as a direct result of their participation in this three samples or fields could be used for irrigating crops if drip irrigation were used. Therefore, program. 88 out of the 90 samples, or 97.8 percent, could meet the California GAPS Agreement. This better understanding of the microbial levels in District 12 irrigation water sources should help curtail Sustainable agriculture program improves knowledge of organic speculation from the media and consumers that irrigation water quality in South Texas may not production be adequate for vegetable production. This database, to be located on the National GAPs Program Families participating in the Hidalgo County Grow’n Growers minority sustainable agriculture Web site (www.gaps.cornell.edu), will encourage more vegetable producers in South Texas to program are instructed in growing vegetables organically to reduce the introduction of chemicals into become GAP certified because the results show that well and surface water is generally safe. These the environment and protect water quality. All families in this program improved their knowledge demonstrations have increased producers’ and county Extension agents’ knowledge about irrigation of organic production and adopted organic horticultural practices, improving their incomes by $75– water quality testing and collection. $400 per month in 2009 during the seven-month market season. Eighty percent of families reported saving on weekly groceries by eating from their garden. Two families opened their gardens for weekly Producer and middle buyer HEB Produce Safety Trainings conducted vegetable sales, adding $100–$200 per month in addition to income from the farmers’ market. Food safety trainings for producers, middle buyers and entry level workers were another important Market sales have risen since the initial year as Grow’n Growers has expanded produce selection, area for GAP certification in 2009 and for educational efforts in District 12. Entry level worker improved horticultural practices, and added to the customer base. This farmers’ market was the trainings in hand washing and hygiene were conducted in District 12 in Spanish by Extension first in Hidalgo County and is still the only one producing crops organically; however, three other agents. Agents Marcel Valdez, Jaime Lopez and Omar Gonzales and GAPs food safety program farmers’ markets have opened since the original market opened in February 2008. assistant Ashley Gregory helped coordinate these meetings. In five separate trainings, more than 120 individuals were trained in hand washing and hygiene through this effort in Spanish. West Region HEB Produce Safety Training for producers and middle buyers continued in 2009, with four In 2009, 16 counties in the West Region conducted educational programs and demonstrations to trainings in San Antonio. More than 70 individuals were trained in the new GAP metrics, and 95.6 help address the water issues in the region; more than 50,000 contacts were made. County Extension percent were mostly or completed satisfied with the course and the training. These individuals agents worked with Extension specialists to provide educational programs addressing Rio Grande represented over 105,000 acres of produce production in the United States and Mexico. Economic Basin water issues in the following areas. 28 impacts based on one of the trainings indicated that median costs to implement GAP practices on the 29 farm are $239 per acre. Adopting GAPs practices on the farm could be very expensive on a per-acre Irrigation efficiency and water quality issues in agriculture basis, but if they are not implemented, 65 percent of the median average of the total acres would be either reduced or eliminated because GAPs were not implemented as buyers demand. Test averages Irrigation efficiency and scheduling Extension programs continue to address irrigation efficiency in cropping systems, a critical issue in in the HEB Produce Safety Trainings were 82.6 and 78.9 in two of the four trainings. Fifty percent the Rio Grande Basin and the West Region. The South Texas Irrigation Conference and Trade Show of the first class believed they had an above average understanding of GAPs before the training; 77.3 was held in Medina County on January 20, 2009. The agenda included topics on precision irrigation percent said they had an above average understanding of GAPs after the training. Of the second class, and irrigation efficiency, and the programs were targeted at crop producers in the multicounty area, 36.8 percent believed they had an above average understanding of GAPs before the training, and 93.8
which included Uvalde County and other Rio Grande Basin Initiative counties. More than 250 people educational program series, an evaluation instrument was used at theattended the two programs. The evaluation survey respondents indicated increased knowledge in the spring and fall workshops. Respondents indicated 40–70 percent changesfollowing: 68 percent on Crop Water Usage and Fertilizer Uptake; 65 percent on Benefits of Irrigation in knowledge in local/regional rainfall characteristics and probabilities,Technology; 70 percent on Pumping Plants; 60 percent on Irrigation Economics; 59 percent on Drip brush control, grass calculator, range ripping, reseeding practices,Irrigation; 64 percent on Center Pivot Irrigation; and 74 percent on Current Water Issues. herbicide labeling laws and regulations, rainfall penetration, and brush and weed management.Alternate bearing years in pecansAlternate bearing years for pecans is a natural phenomenon, with high and low yields on alternate Approximately 10 percent of producers indicated intentions to adoptyears in El Paso County. Extension has launched a best management practices (BMPs) program for recommended brush and weed management practices for range healthpecan producers with recommendations to counter the effects of off years. The program takes a year- and will adopt brush control for range water yield. In addition, 40–45round multitask approach, addressing fertilization, irrigation, pruning, macro- and micronutrient percent of producers indicated they probably or definitely will adopt rangefunctions, and monitoring of current weather conditions that may affect pecan nut development. ripping, different practices for prickly pear and brush management, andForty-two farms (12,500 acres) currently participate in the program, now in its second year. Results practices to enhance vegetation for rainfall penetration.indicate that for the current off year, production increased by 150 pounds per acre, and during lastyear’s on year, production was increased by over 500 pounds more than previous recorded years. Water conservation in landscapesThe BMPs program has also reduced late-summer nut drop and resulted in improved yields up to 10percent above normal, resulting in up to $200 per acre of additional revenue. Ward County Earth-Kind ® programs County Extension agents in Ward County conducted a series of educational programs in 2009 to address water conservation in landscapes. The main goal of thisBest management practices for pecan production in El Paso County programming effort was to teach homeowners to conserve water while creating a healthy andMore than 300 contacts with pecan farmers were made during the year on such topics as nursery sustainable landscape environment. Educational programs addressed the different native andsetup, container grown trees, orchard planting, tree pruning and training, fertilization with macro- adapted plant species that do well in this arid environment (low water and fertilizer requirements).and micronutrients, soil moisture monitoring, pyezometer reading for depth of water table, and nut The following are issues that homeowners and clientele learned more about through Extensionquality and yield during harvest. programming: soil types and the differences of plant suitability; importance of fertilizers and pesticides; importance of irrigation (timing, length, and amount); importance of water (rainwaterChile pepper production in Far West Texas harvesting, drip irrigation); species of plants that will grow in this area; color of different plants atThe Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Hudspeth and El Paso counties held three Chile Production different times of year; and space requirements of trees, shrubs, plants and lawns.Workshops and assisted with the Wild West Chile Fest and the 50th Anniversary of the Dell CityValley Foundation. More than 1,100 people attended the fair in September. Over 3,000 acres of chiles(paprika) are grown in the El Paso–Hudspeth County area, and producers benefited from the BMPs Tree 101 Workshop The Tree 101 Workshop was sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Presidio andpresented at the educational programs. Participating farmers reported water-use efficiency with an Brewster counties in 2009. More than 100 people attended programs that addressed the need toincrease in yield and quality of chiles/paprika. Chile crop production workshops had 38 participants, use native and adapted plants in landscapes and to implement other water-conserving techniquesand 132 attended the chile field day. recommended for West Texas landscapes.Salt-tolerant alfalfa cultivarsIn-field demonstrations have been in place for the past six years to test new alfalfa cultivars for salt Urban landscape programstolerance. Alfalfa cultivars that showed and performed well under salty conditions from 2003 to El Paso County Master Gardener Program2008, such as GT 13 Supreme and 801S (American Alfalfa), still have a good stand and are producing Master Gardener volunteers contributed an estimated 11,000 hours of service in programs andwell. Average alfalfa stand usage for the El Paso Valley is four years, due to stand decline. These demonstration gardens to educate the public about water conservation and natural resource issues.cultivars showed salt tolerance or resistance and have a longer life and production cycle. Data from Master Gardeners regularly staff the Extension Gardening Hotline. El Paso County residentsvariety trials were provided to local alfalfa farmers; several farmers reported using some of the best- and other clientele may call the hotline and ask questions related to gardening, landscape waterperforming cultivars, such as 801S and 802, in over 2,500 acres of newly planted alfalfa in El Paso and conservation, landscape design, and other horticultural topics. A bimonthly newsletter containingHudspeth counties. information on WaterSmart plants and Xeriscaping™* is sent to Master Gardeners. El Paso County 30 Master Gardeners and the county Extension agent for horticulture displayed an array of educational 31Watershed management materials and talked with people about gardening and lawn-related topics at the Ardovino’s Farmers’Programs and demonstrations on watershed management were conducted across the Rio Grande Markets every Saturday from June through October. More than 150 visitors per week stopped byBasin counties in the West Region during 2009. Data continues to be collected on paired-plot the Extension booth. An estimated 800 clientele (over the course of the season) asked horticulture-demonstrations in Val Verde County. Water runoff is measured from areas where brush management related questions and discussed their particular horticultural issues.practices were implemented to determine the practices or methods that best capture rainfall inwatershed areas. A workshop series was conducted in Val Verde County during 2009 to provide El Paso County demonstration gardens and plant trialsinformation on recommended watershed management practices. To determine the results of this Native and recommended plant species are being evaluated at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at El Paso, in cooperation with Mountain States Wholesale Nursery (Arizona)
and Dr. Genhua Niu. Information gained from these trials (on hardiness, water use, pesticide and probability and catchment system/size; 72 percent indicated an increase infertilizer use, bloom percentage, etc.) will be used to refine landscape plant recommendations to El understanding management considerations of wildlife that affect habitat,Paso County residents. Earth-Kind rose species are also being trialed at the Memorial Rose Garden, such as diversity, home-range size, and mobility; and 61 percent indicatedin partnership with the City of El Paso Parks Department. an increase in understanding the use of rain gardens to capture water for plant irrigation, water infiltration, and minimizing soil erosion andIn addition, the Xeriscape demonstration garden at the AgriLife Research and Extension Center runoff.serves as a center for public information on desert plants and home landscape water conservation. Water well screeningCactus demonstration garden. The cactus garden was installed in 2006 and continues to be Water well screenings were offered in Presidio, Brewster, Jeff Davis,expanded. The newest addition to the garden is a man-made arroyo to channel stormwater runoff Terrell, Hudspeth, and Val Verde counties. In Presidio County, 97 welland demonstrate rainwater harvesting in the landscape. Also, educational brochures on cactus care samples were tested for bacteria, salts and nitrates in 2009. The results areand maintenance, the ethics of plant harvesting in the desert, and the proper way to install a similar as follows:garden in a home landscape are available in protective displays in the garden, so that visitors mayeasily pick them up. The project is a partnership with the El Paso Cactus Society. E. coli 14.4% Coliform 81.4%Memorial Rose Garden. This is a public garden with All-America Rose Selection and Earth-Kind Other 16.5%roses. Also in the rose garden, a twice yearly demonstration on rose selection, planting, care and Any two in combination 25.8%maintenance is held for the public. Salts (medium to high salt hazard) 4.1%Demonstration landscape at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Headquarters. The Master Gardeners Nitrates 1.0%designed a demonstration garden for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department to beautify their new None 11.3%headquarters facility. A section with native cacti and other native plants was installed in December2008. The landscape was contoured to take advantage of stormwater runoff and rainwater harvesting. Treatment recommendations were made on all excessive or positive well test results. Retesting in three months was recommended on all wells with positive results. Water conservation kits were givenAnnual Home and Garden Expo to all participants.Information on Xeriscaping, recommended plants, and various other landscape water conservationtopics was provided at the annual home and garden expo. Extension agents conducted a large group In-home water conservationpresentation with 152 in attendance to hear about Xeriscape principles and low-water-use landscape In 2009, six Rio Grande Basin Initiative counties in the West Region conducted educational activitiesspecies. Master Gardeners gave short topic presentations in the Extension booth, with 224 total on in-home water conservation. The El Paso County Extension agent for family and consumerattendees. An estimated 5,000 stopped by the Extension booths. sciences supervised volunteers who gave in-home water conservation information and handouts to 293 county homeowners and 1,237 young people, all representing low to moderate income families.*Xeriscape is a registered trademark of Denver Water, Denver, CO, and is used here with permission. The homeowner program and the handouts were in English and Spanish. Information provided was titled “Top 5 Water Saving Tips.” These tips are (1) repair existing leaks in faucets, toilets, andRainwater harvesting irrigation systems; (2) replace old showerheads and toilets with water-saver models; (3) purchaseSix counties in the Rio Grande Basin conducted educational programs on rainwater harvesting, and water-saving washers; (4) reduce water use in the landscape by planting native and low-water-usefive of the seven counties established, modified and/or completed maintenance requirements on plants; and (5) turn off the faucet while brushing teeth, run only full dishwashers, and use a timer forrainwater harvesting demonstrations. El Paso and Presidio counties completed or began construction five-minute showers. The fifth tip is the hardest for families because it involves changing water-useon rainwater harvesting demonstrations and gardens. The programs and demonstrations provided behaviors.information about the efficient use of captured rainwater on various landscapes and for other uses,such as providing water for wildlife and livestock. Partners and collaborators included commissioners Water conservation programs in Terrell County targeted community leaders through a local civiccourts and local chambers of commerce. The demonstrations will be used as educational tools in organization. The program discussed how to measure irrigation in gardens and lawns. In-home waterrainwater harvesting and water-efficient landscapes. conservation practices were also reviewed. Each participant received an in-home water conservation kit and a kit to measure irrigation amounts. More than 60 percent of participants increased their 32Rainwater harvesting/desert landscaping workshops knowledge in the basic philosophy of water conservation, learned where to go for home water 33A series of workshops was conducted in Presidio County to educate local residents on rainwater conservation information, and learned how to install in-home water conservation kits and find leaks.harvesting techniques, resources, in-home use, rainwater harvesting for wildlife, and water-wise Most respondents indicated they were going to evaluate their water usage and increase understandingselection of landscape plants. Seventy-three percent of survey respondents indicated an increase in of overall cost savings with in-home water conservation.their understanding of water contaminants such as bacteria, salts and nitrates. In addition, 48 percentindicated an increase in understanding how rainwater harvesting reduces potable water demand;55 percent indicated an increase in understanding how to estimate rainwater yield based on rainfall
Youth water education State Youth Water CampFour sessions titled “Water in Our Daily Lives” were conducted for 107 fourth-grade students as State Youth Water Camp was held July 12–16 in Ward County, witha part of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Science Academy, held at Flores 14 youth from across Texas participating. Seven county ExtensionElementary in Uvalde, Texas. Students learned about where water comes from, how it is used, and agents worked with volunteers to provide an educational experiencehow it can be conserved and protected. The on-site program for students and teachers provided and recreational activities for those attending. Rainwater harvesting,educational presentations on aquifers, water and the body, conservation, pollution, the water cycle, water conservation practices in landscapes, in-home water conservation,soil porosity, and permeability. To illustrate the geologic formation of an aquifer, how pollution can irrigation efficiency in agriculture, watershed management, wastewaterget into groundwater, and how this pollution can end up in drinking water wells, students built their treatment, and many more topics were discussed. Both classroom andown edible aquifers. hands-on outdoor activities were included.Pre- and post-assessments were conducted to determine whether the students understood the Trans-Pecos Public Water Literacy Conferenceconcepts presented about water (Session I). They missed 27 percent of the assessment questions A public meeting was developed by the Texas AgriLife Extension Servicebefore the event; when reassessed after the event they missed only 23 percent. In Session II, the in Reeves County to educate the public on water conservation, waterstudents missed 31 percent of the assessment questions before the event; when reassessed after the quality, and solutions to these issues. To determine the effectiveness ofevent they missed only 2 percent. In Session III, they missed 19 percent of the questions before the the educational program, a retrospective evaluation was administered atevent but only 9 percent afterward. In Session IV, they missed 36 percent of the questions before the the Trans-Pecos Public Water Literacy Conference on October 29, 2009,event; when reassessed after the event, they missed 26 percent. at the Reeves County Library. This evaluation instrument measured the knowledge gained from attending this workshop.Investigating Water curriculumA series of seven educational lessons from the Investigating Water curriculum were presented to Participants in the workshop indicated the following change in knowledge of the water issues facingfourth-graders at Sudderth Elementary School in Monahans, Texas. The curriculum provided lessons Reeves County and the steps to forming an underground water district:on water basics, amazing aquifers, watersheds and wetlands, plant-soil-water relationships, pollution, • 91 percent increase in understanding how a new groundwater conservation district is createdwater-wise landscaping, and saving water in the home. • 86 percent increase in knowledge of how an area becomes a Priority Groundwater Management Area (PGMA) study areaPre- and post-evaluations were used to monitor change. An increase in knowledge and a change in • 93 percent increase in understanding the basic PGMA processattitudes and beliefs was indicated. One hundred forty-two students completed the pretest, and 144 • 100 percent increase in understanding the definition of a PGMA studycompleted the posttest. • 122 percent increase in knowledge of the county commissioners court’s role in the PGMA process • 126 percent increase in knowledge of the private citizen’s role in the PGMA processYouth Water Leadership Institute • 118 percent increase in understanding how a groundwater conservation district is fundedThe Texas AgriLife Extension Service in El Paso engaged the Upper Rio Grande Water Conservation • 48 percent increase in knowledge of the Texas rule on Right of CaptureCorps (AmeriCorps) members in partnership with the City of El Paso Parks and RecreationDepartment and the El Paso Water Utilities Department to provide relevant, experiential, water and In most cases, some 30 percent or more of the participants indicated intentions of adoptingenvironmental education programs for youths. Other partners (school districts, youth agencies, water recommended water-conservation practices such as performing in-home water audits, turning offutilities, etc.) were included in the Youth Water Leadership Institute programming. This Extension water while brushing teeth, using only cold water for laundry, checking faucets and replacing onesYouth Water Leadership Institute program in El Paso County reached 30,998 youth during 2009. that leak, replacing old showerheads, and watering lawns during cool hours when the air is still.Components of the educational programs included using Extension’s Investigating Water and JuniorMaster Gardener curricula and other resource materials or curricula to provide the educationalprograms and activities for El Paso youths. The activities were organized into fun-learning andexperiential-learning sessions such as charades, games, relay activities, bingo, marketing, literacy, self- New Mexicoreflection, and service actions. Tips for tourists to TaosA total of 42,726 young people learned about water conservation action steps that they could Tourism is big business in Northern New Mexico, and nowhere is that truer than in Taos. Winter 34implement at home and at school, increased vocabulary/literacy on environmental topics, modeled skiing, summer rafting, hiking, hunting, and the natural beauty attract tens of thousands of tourists 35aquifer geologic formations and related water pollution issues, demonstrated water conservation each year. City and county businesses received assistance from Taos County Extension and localmeasures, learned about global warming impacts on the environment, and identified individual goals governments to develop and deliver a public education program to encourage visitors to conserveor action steps to decrease water waste. water resources. Brochures and pamphlets providing conservation tips were developed and distributed to area restaurants, hotels, and other businesses. WaterSmart landscaping was also a focus in Extension programming for visitors and new residents. Public workshops and materials gave business and homeowners useful information on water-efficient landscapes that are aesthetic and compliant with local landscape ordinances.
Acequias del Rio Arriba Drip and bubbler: Coming to a river near youAcequia community ditch systems for irrigating are as integral a part of New Mexican culture as In river-irrigated farming valleys, as around Soccoro County, adoption of drip and alternate irrigationgreen chiles and luminarias. Continually under pressure for being antiquated and inefficient, acequia designs is a hard sell. However, with the help of the Rio Grande Basin Initiative and the Soccoro Cooperativeassociations have collaborated with the Rio Grande Basin Initiative to demonstrate their usefulness Extension Service, one large farm (and big water user) has installed several acres of drip irrigation forand value in the society and economy. RGBI research has proven the benefits of acequia ditch flows high-value vegetable production. Produce return on the water investment for the farm has increased, alongto the hydrology and riparian systems of the Rio Grande. Mayordomos (water masters) have taken with the cash receipts. In a family-run, direct-marketed operation, the benefits have been impressive. Alsotraining sessions on real-time metering of ditch flows to assist in allocations and scheduling. Water introduced to local growers was a low-head, low-cost bubbler design well adapted to orchards, vineyards,users and managers in Rio Arriba County have also learned flow measurement techniques for farm- waffle or basin gardens, and nonturf residential landscapes. This design has gained the attention of a growergate metering. These practices, with on-farm soil moisture monitoring as the basis for irrigation on the Soccoro–Valencia County line establishing 10 acres of blackberries and raspberries. More to follow onscheduling, are helping acequias operate smoother and more efficiently. these “bubbler berries” in 2010.Rio Rancho receives recognition Colonias collect free waterNew Mexico’s largest and fastest metropolitan area has expanded into Sandoval County and the Colonia residents often have no indoor plumbing. Cesspools make available wells suspect. Many residentsonce quiet community of Rio Rancho. Along with the exponential growth came huge demands on collect water from the river or irrigation ditches for domestic use. With the help of Dona Ana Countywater resources. Supported by the Rio Grande Basin Initiative, local government has teamed with Extension, residents are learning low-cost techniques for harvesting rainwater. Their motives are veryExtension, small businesses, nongovernmental agencies, Master Gardeners, and others to establish a different from those of rainwater harvesters in affluent neighborhoods. With the cooperation of Santa Teresanational award-winning water-wise demonstration landscape credited with mitigating the demand businesses and local government, demonstrations are being installed to show immigrant and indigent familiesfor outdoor watering. Featured on Home & Garden TV’s Gardening by the Yard syndicated program, effective, safe methods of collecting and storing rainwater. rthe demonstration project was also awarded first place in Excellence in Demonstration Gardens bythe International Master Gardeners’ Association. In support of the community effort, local nurserybusinesses stock and promote plant varieties and landscape practices that are demonstrated in thegarden. Consumers and contractors are directed to visit the garden to learn appropriate landscaping,ordinance compliance, and water conservation.Water education for youth is a focus in Santa FeWhen water is discussed in Santa Fe classrooms, you can bet Extension agents are there to presentthe lessons. Thousands of school children have been taught the science, culture, and history of waterby Extension professionals. Santa Fe Extension agents have developed and adopted a tool chest ofyouth education materials dealing with water. Presentations to children include “Shower Coaches,”“Discovering the Waters of New Mexico,” the online “Water Ripples” interactive games, and morefor helping young minds better understand the world of water.‘Magical’ irrigation of soccer fieldThe largest subsurface irrigated athletic field in the Southwest received technical assistance fromRio Grande Basin Initiative personnel. New Mexico State University Extension turfgrass specialiststeamed with the Bernalillo County agent and local school district to turn desert scrubland into thestate’s largest subirrigated soccer field. The reclaimed wasteland was developed with better adaptedturf, drip tape, and soil moisture monitoring devices, all of which provide for more efficient watering.In addition, students can practice while the turf is being irrigated, which is a huge time savings forstudents and staff.Forage irrigation in Valencia 36Farm revenues from livestock account for over 80 percent of receipts in Valencia County. The value 37of forage production for livestock is over $14 million. The Rio Grande Basin Initiative has addressedthe industry needs for efficient irrigation practices with training workshops for livestock and forageproducers in the county. Thirty plus producers, mostly small-scale ranchette owners/operators,were trained in irrigation water management practices, soil biotics, and maintaining healthyplant-soil-water conditions.
09 Task Areas10 Accomplishments Texas AgriLife Research New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station
09 Task 1 Research10 Irrigation District Studies Strategies developed for water conservation in Far West Texas In collaboration with New Mexico State University and 5R Enterprise Inc., Rio Grande Basin Initiative researchers have established a monitoring network at a pecan farm in El Paso to collect data on soil moisture, groundwater level, water quality, precipitation, and evapotranspiration (ET tower in Master’s thesis and technical reports on Arundo donax estimate construction). Their findings will help to assess the impacts of irrigation on the groundwater and adjacent drainage significant annual water savings system. This hydrologic cycle assessment will consider The primary benefit of reducing Arundo donax (giant reed) is in capturing some of the water atmospheric water (precipitation, evapotranspiration), currently consumed by this plant and using it for agricultural purposes. After estimating the cost surface water (river, reservoir, irrigation network), and of the management program, quantifying the amount of net water saved, and gathering other data, groundwater and their variability with climate change economists have reported on the direct economic benefit to agriculture, the benefit-cost ratio of in the arid region. The research findings are expected to the project, the economic impact to the region, and the life-cycle cost of saving water via the pest- help regional water stakeholders develop management management program. Through this project, a master’s thesis was revised, completed, and developed strategies for extreme hydrological conditions, such as into a technical report on the economics of a USDA-Agricultural Research Service beneficial insect droughts or floods. In collaboration with Stephen F. program to reduce Arundo donax and improve local water supplies. Detailed estimates of the quantity Austin State University, additional geophysical surveys and value of the saved water are provided in the Seawright et al. (2009, Southwestern Entomologist) (resistivity and conductivity mapping) were conducted at refereed journal article. Estimates of water saved increase as efficacy of the beneficial insects increases. five selected sites along the Riverside and Franklin canals Initial annual savings are 60 acre-feet in 2009, projected to increase annually to an estimated savings to characterize the canal beds in comparison with inflow- of 59,000 acre-feet per year by 2058. These values represent conservative estimates calculated in this outflow measurements and permeability tests. The research study. Researchers propose to investigate mechanical and chemical control measures during FY 2010. findings helped develop best management practice (BMP) strategies for water conservation for the Far West Texas Water Planning Group, with support from the Texas Water Development Board. Researchers estimated that approximately 75,000 acre-feet of water could be saved annually if BMP strategies are fully implemented. Assessment of Rio Grande salinity and hydrology provided information that helped with preliminary assessment of the economic impacts of salinity in the Rio Grande. These assessments helped develop guidelines for salinity management and control by irrigation districts, water utilities, and state and federal agencies. The total economic cost of Rio Grande salinity was estimated to be about $10.2 million per year, of which urban damages account for 76 percent and agricultural damages account for the remaining 24 percent. Economic investigation and analysis of algae for biofuel begins Researchers at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Pecos are collecting data on ponds being used to identify optimal species of algae to use for biofuel production. They are also capturing operations and production data, data on well costs, information on the value of using by-products for cattle feed, and other data that will be used in a customized economic model. The project will not save water but could assist in developing an enterprise capable of using high-salinity water that is otherwise generally unusable while simultaneously producing biofuels and co-products. The economic study is approximately 60 percent complete and is expected to be completed during 2010. 40 41 Publications Becker, T. C., Rister, M. E., Lacewell, R. D., Moore, J., Brown, L., Brown, Y., Hogan, R., & Sturdivant, A. W. (2009, December). Algae production as an input for biofuels. Poster presented at the 21st Annual Texas Plant Protection Association Conference, College Station. Becker, T. C., Rister, M. E., Lacewell, R. D., Moore, J., Brown, L., Brown, Y., Hogan, R., & Sturdivant, A. W. (2010, January). Firm-level economic analysis of commercial algae production for biofuels in Pecos, TX. Poster presented at the Texas A&M AgriLife Conference, College Station.
09 Task 3 Research10 conducted in collaboration with Institutional Incentives for Efficient Water Use Texas AgriLife Research and New Mexico State University. Stakeholders include the Texas Water Development Board, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, El Paso Continued analysis of legislation reveals unintended consequences, Water Utilities, Hudspeth County recognized by lawmakers Conservation Reclamation District A continued review and analysis of certain legislation revealed that a potential cost advantage of No. 1, Elephant Butte Irrigation desalination over traditional surface-water treatment is reversed with the law. Researchers concluded District, New Mexico Office of that unintended consequences of the legislation could affect municipalities’ decisions about the type the State Engineer, New Mexico of water-treatment technology to adopt in the future, delaying adoption of new technology that Interstate Stream Commission, New could increase local water supplies. Because of the legislation, several thousand acre-feet of water may Mexico Environment Department, not be made available. This research project has drawn attention to the impact of legislation and its U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army possible unexpected consequences. The now completed project has been recognized by members of Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. the Texas House of Representatives. Rio Grande Salinity Coalition and Impact Assessment Coordinated water resources database and GIS Web site publicized Salinity increases in the Rio Grande from Elephant Butte Reservoir in New Mexico to Fort Quitman, The coordinated water resources database and GIS (geographic information systems) Web site Texas, have been documented for roughly 100 years and predate construction of the federal Rio has been publicized through invited presentations at regional conferences. The database provides Grande project. The problems associated with elevated salinity take on greater importance as rapid both historic and real-time data within the Paso del Norte watershed and is supported by many urban growth increases water demand and drives changing urban, agricultural, and environmental agencies, including the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, International conditions and water uses. Boundary and Water Commission, El Paso Water Utilities, El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, and Hudspeth County Conservation and Reclamation District No. 1. Additional The Rio Grande Compact Commission (RGCC), in collaboration with local water management data needed to develop salinity control and management strategies for the Rio Grande has been entities, initiated a multistate effort to create a Rio Grande salinity management program compiled. Researchers have also shared information through participation in regional water planning administratively patterned after the successful Colorado River Salinity Control Forum. The objectives group meetings and the Paso del Norte Watershed Council, URGWOM technical team and steering of the Rio Grande Project Salinity Management Program are to reduce salinity concentrations, committee meetings, and other activities. Researchers continue to work with selected farmers to loading, and impacts in the Rio Grande Basin Initiative project area from San Acacia, New Mexico, explore water conservation measures in farm irrigation scheduling and tailwater reuse. to Fort Quitman, Texas, to increase usable water supplies for agricultural, urban, and environmental purposes. Development continues on water resources database, GIS and hydrologic model Texas AgriLife Research and New Mexico State University scientists conducted a preliminary Two new studies and components were completed for the Coordinated Database for Water Resources economic assessment of salinity impacts and potential benefits of reducing salinity concentrations in and Flow Model in the Paso del Norte Watershed. These were a Lower Rio Grande Flood Control the Rio Grande. The total cost from Rio Grande salinity in this preliminary assessment is estimated Model (RiverWare Model) and analysis of Availability of Flow and Water Quality Data for the Rio to be about $10.2 million per year. Urban economic impacts account for 76 percent of total costs, Grande Project Area. A two-part technical report was peer reviewed and jointly published by the New and agricultural impacts account for the remaining 24 percent of costs. The highest single category Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (TR-348) and the Texas Water Resources Institute (TR- of costs is residential—42 percent of the total—followed by agricultural, commercial, and urban 359). This project is being conducted with the Paso del Norte Watershed Council in partnership with landscape. numerous local, state, and federal agencies and organizations. Resources and partnerships are being leveraged with support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The economic benefits of reducing salinity were estimated for two scenarios. First, if a 200 mg/L Efforts involve scientists from Texas AgriLife Research, New Mexico State University, and the total dissolved solids (TDS) reduction in surface water salinity could be made at the New Mexico– 44 University of Juarez, as well as other stakeholders. Information and results from Rio Grande Basin Texas state line, the economic benefit is estimated to be approximately $4.82 million per year, 45 Initiative Tasks 1, 3, 4 and 8 are contributing to the development of this effort. with $4.76 million of the benefits accruing to El Paso County urban water users and $64,000 to Hudspeth County agriculture. Second, if a 200 mg/L TDS reduction in surface water salinity could be made at San Acacia, New Mexico, and continued to Fort Quitman, Texas, the economic benefit Preliminary economic assessment of salinity impacts completed is estimated to be approximately $5 million per year, with $4.76 million of the benefits accruing to Rio Grande Basin Initiative funds helped leverage over $150,000 in funding from the U.S. Army El Paso County urban water users and $227,000 to Socorro, Sierra, Doña Ana and Hudspeth county Corps of Engineers and the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer for this study. This task was agricultural users.
Drought Watch Michelsen, A. M., McGuckin, T., Lacewell, R., Creel, B., & Sheng, Z. (2009, July). Economic impacts of Rio Grande salinity [Abstract]. Proceedings of the Universities Council on Water Resources and National Institutes for Water Resources Annualoutreach publication Conference, Chicago, IL.produced and Michelsen, A. M., & Young, R. A. (2009). Optioning agricultural water rights for urban water supplies during droughts. Indistributed R. Q. Grafton (Ed.), Economics of water resources (Vol. II; pp. 549–559). Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. (Article originallyTwo issues of the education published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics).outreach publication DroughtWatch on the Rio Grande were Sheng, Z. (2009, February). Pecan growth and water conservation. Presentation at the 2009 Pecan Group Conference,produced and distributed to El Paso, TX.increase public and water user Sheng, Z., Keyes, Jr., C., & Brinegar, H. (2009, September). Coordinated water resources database & GIS for Paso del Norteknowledge and encourage Watershed management. Presentation at the New Mexico section of the ASCE fall meeting, Ruidoso.conservation. Drought Watchis a collaborative effort of the Sheng, Z., Keyes, Jr., C., & Brinegar, H. (2009, November). Paso del Norte Watershed Council: Water restoration actionRio Grande Basin Initiative and strategies. Presentation at the “Land, Water, People” Joint Conference sponsored by the River Systems Institute, the Texas Riparian Association, and the Texas Water Resources Institute, San Marcos, TX.Texas AgriLife Research, withthe U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Sheng, Z., Michelsen, A. M., McGuckin, T., Creel, B., & Lacewell, R. D. (2009, November). Assessment of the economicDrought Watch is distributed to news media, water managers, government agency staff, and elected impacts of Rio Grande salinity [Abstract]. Proceedings of the American Water Resources Association Annual Conference,officials and is distributed by e-mail on request (300, including elected officials and local, state, and Seattle, WA.federal agencies). It is also distributed to irrigation districts and farmers, to the Far West Texas Water Tillery, S., Sheng, Z., King, J. P., Creel, B., Brown, C., Michelsen, A. M., Srinivasan, R., & Granados, A. (2009). ThePlanning Group, and at public and professional meetings. This publication has been widely cited development of a coordinated database for water resources and flow model in the Paso del Norte Watershed (Phase III); Part I:in newspaper articles and television reports and is posted on several Web sites, including that of Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Model (LRGFCM) RiverWare Model Development and Part II: Availability of flow and waterthe Southwest Irrigated Cotton Growers. In the Far West Texas–Southern New Mexico area alone, quality data for the Rio Grande Project area. Jointly published by New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (Reportnewspaper and television reports reach an audience of more than 800,000 people in the United States No. TR-348) and Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M System (Report No. TR-359).and more than 2.2 million in the El Paso–Las Cruces–Juarez Rio Grande border region. Yow, S. R., Rister, M. E., Lacewell, R. D., Sturdivant, A. W., Rogers, C. S., & Boyer, C. N. (2010). Unintended consequences of state legislation on the adoption of water treatment technology in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Manuscript submitted for publication. rPublicationsHuffaker, R., Whittlesey, N., Michelsen, A. M., Taylor, G., & McGuckin, T. (2009). Evaluating the effectiveness of conservationwater-pricing programs. In R. Q. Grafton (Ed.), Economics of water resources (Vol. II; pp. 456–463). Northampton, MA:Edward Elgar. (Article originally published in the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics).Lacewell, R., Dubois, M., Michelsen, A. M., Rister, M. E., & Sturdivant, A. W. (2009, January). Transboundary water crises:The Rio Grande (Bravo) Watershed. Presentation at “Transboundary Water Crises: Learning from Our Neighbors in the RioGrande (Bravo) and Jordan River Watersheds,” Las Cruces, NM.Michelsen, A. M. (2009, April). Economics of water resources. Presentation at the 2009 Water Law, Policy and ScienceConference, “Blue Gold: When Water Meets Money,” Lincoln, NE.Michelsen, A. M. (2009, August). Do we need a national vision for integrated and sustainable water resources? Presentation atthe National Collaborative Water Resources Conference, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC.Michelsen, A. M. (2009, September). Opportunities and challenges of water demand management through pricing. Presentationat the International Workshop on Water Demand Management, International Water Resources Association and ChineseAcademy of Sciences, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Beijing, China.Michelsen, A. M. (2009, November). United States–Mexico Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program. Presentation at the 46Transboundary Water Resources Panel Session, American Water Resources Association Annual Conference, Seattle, WA. 47Michelsen, A. M., Chavez, M., Lacewell, R., Gilley, J., & Sheng, Z. (2009). Evaluation of irrigation efficiency strategies forFar West Texas: Feasibility, water savings and cost considerations (TWRI Report No. TR-360). College Station: Texas WaterResources Institute, Texas A&M System.Michelsen, A. M., & Doremus, D. (2009). Rio Grande salinity management: First steps toward interstate solutions.Proceedings of New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute Annual Conference, Albuquerque. Available at wrri.nmsu.edu/publish/watcon/proc53/doremus-michelsen.pdf.
09 Task 4 Research10 On-Farm Irrigation System Management Plastic mulch decreases water application and increases artichoke yields In artichoke cultivars grown as an annual system, plastic mulch saved 15 percent of water application and increased yields by 16 percent compared to bare soil. In terms of yield, the top cultivars were ‘Emerald’, ‘Imperial Star’, ‘Madrigal’, ‘Green Globe Improved’, and ‘Experimental Red’. Cultivars with the largest head size were ‘Opal’, ‘Concerto’, RDI and wider plant spacing increase water productivity ‘Green Globe Improved’, and ‘Experimental Red’. Crop During 2009–2010, researchers conducted investigations combining physiologically based strategies management guidelines for production of artichoke during and plant population density manipulation to achieve significant water savings in terms of winter were expanded. Foliar application of gibberellic acid productivity or crop yield per unit of applied water (pounds per acre-inch). The combination of (GA3) applied at 30 parts per million two to three times regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) and wider plant spacing increased water productivity by 16 percent, allowed an extension of the harvest season for at least two resulting in irrigation water savings of 0.85 acre-inches. In addition to improving the productivity of months, thus improving water and nutrient use efficiency. applied irrigation, wider plant spacing will translate into additional production cost savings because growers would purchase and plant fewer seedling transplants per unit land area than with the closer spacing. Short-day onion deficit irrigation and plant population study complete ABA improves field survival and yield of bell peppers, jalapeno peppers Researchers have completed the deficit irrigation and plant population study on short-day onion. Total yields were 14 and watermelon percent higher for the highest plant density, although bulb In bell peppers grown with subsurface drip irrigation, application of the natural plant growth size decreased significantly (201 vs. 232 g). Deficit irrigation regulator abscisic acid (ABA) to seedlings in the greenhouse improved field survival by up to 20 at 75 percent crop evapotranspiration slightly decreased percent when the seedlings were exposed to extreme temperatures in south Texas. Similarly, ABA marketable yields, with a range of 5 to 15 percent over two applied to transplants early in development increased yield of jalapeno peppers by 23 percent and years. In addition, deficit irrigation negatively affected yield of watermelon by 17 percent when exposed to chilling or drought conditions under a center pivot and head quality of two broccoli cultivars grown in winter system. under a LEPA (Low Energy Precision Application) irrigation system. Evaluation of alternative irrigation practices over traditional flood irrigation in citrus completed The average annual water savings in acre-feet over the past five years was 1.61 with drip irrigation, 1.28 with microjet spray irrigation, and 0.84 with narrow border flood irrigation over conventional flood irrigation for citrus growers using alternative irrigation practices throughout the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The year 2009 was challenging for South Texas growers because little to no rainfall occurred from late September 2008 through August 2009. This led to increased irrigation demand for this perennial crop, resulting in higher overall water use compared to past years. Harvest results and irrigation use efficiency data is forthcoming because growers received citrus yield results in March 2010. Effect of water stress and irrigation timing on citrus pest management and water use studied Researchers studied irrigation timing before and after chemical pest-control application in citrus groves. Pest assessments in conjunction with determination of pesticide movement in soil and uptake 48 in citrus trees resulted in a finding that soil moisture status prior to chemical application will dictate 49 chemical efficacy. Researchers’ preliminary findings suggest that avoiding irrigation near chemical application times will prevent chemical loss, improve pest-control efficacy, and save water by reducing the need to irrigate at least one 0.5 acre-foot flood irrigation event per year.
Evaluation of water savings using surge irrigation in citrus update for the Wintergarden region, and the Multi-CountySurge irrigation practices will be monitored in 2010 to evaluate the practicality of this irrigation Agricultural Conference in La Coste, Texas. New growersmethod for established citrus groves that currently use large pan flood irrigation methods. This have agreed to participate in the CY 2010 TISP. Area countypractice has been shown to have up to 40 percent water savings in sugarcane rows using polypipe and Extension agents have also agreed to participate in the newmay be a possible alternative irrigation methodology for citrus growers during times of water scarcity TISP as liaisons with regional growers.or high water prices. Project 4 – Maintaining the existing weatherDevelopment and technology transfer to enhance water-use efficiency station networkin the Wintergarden Researchers maintained the weather station networkThis project has resulted in several positive, tangible outcomes in proof of concept for novel through the CY 2009 and assessed the condition of theproduction strategies and in quantifiable water savings using the alternative production methods existing equipment. A comprehensive inspection of 11proposed in this project. The researchers used both team-initiated contact and technology transfer weather stations and assessment of needed repair andand outside invitations to producer groups in the area to report on project findings. There were four maintenance was completed.studies in this project, and the first year of data collection for the supported projects was completed.Results for each project are as follows: Scientist evaluates moisture and salinity sensors to monitor soil conditionsProject 1 – Comparing alternative irrigation treatments for sorghum production This study assesses the accuracy of salinity readingsResearchers established alternative irrigation treatments and applied them to a sorghum crop, obtained from reflectance and electrical conductivityincluding typical overhead irrigation, three drip irrigation treatments, and a partial root-zone sensors. Readings are being compared to values obtaineddrying (PRD) treatment. Yield, soil moisture, soil temperature, and rhizotron imaging of the crop using standard soil tests. The soil sensing devices are beingroot systems were completed. Project results showed equal soil moisture in mid and late season in evaluated in an on-farm project, monitoring salt buildupdeficit PRD treatments in comparison with full irrigation, even though water application in the PRD in two soil types and subsequently remediating root-zonetreatment was only half of the full irrigation treatment. salinity. Long-term irrigation in arid and semiarid regions leads to the salinization of soils because rainfall is notProject 2 – Combining conservation tillage with primed acclimation irrigation sufficient to leach salts away from the root zone. Every yearThe researchers compared strip till and conventional tillage cropping systems in factorial it is estimated that between 5 and 10 million hectares of land must be removed from agriculturalcombination with irrigation treatments, including deficit irrigation and primed acclimation (PA) production because of increased salinity. As water quality for agriculture decreases and salinitytreatments. PA treatments consisted of applying 70 percent of full irrigation amounts during the early in irrigation water increases, using efficient irrigation methods and addressing salinity problemsstages of crop development, appropriate for cotton, corn and sunflower. Yield, soil moisture, soil through root-zone management becomes an essential part of farming.temperature, crop stress bioassay, crop water use and crop quality were measured. Results showeda water savings of between 1.5 and 2.0 inches of irrigation applied in 2009, while maintaining yields Seasonal timing of regulated deficit irrigation in pecans studiedcomparable to full irrigation amounts. Several new collaborations were also formed. The project was In 2008 New Mexico and Texas were the second- and third-largest pecan producing states in theexpanded to include grazing in winter within both the conservation and conventional tillage systems United States, respectively, with a combined annual production value of $95.1 million. Nearlyand the addition of winter legumes sowed with the ryegrass cover. 50,000 acres of pecans grow within the Rio Grande Basin in Texas and New Mexico. This project will provide information about pecan irrigation scheduling, allowing Rio Grande Basin pecan growers toProject 3 – Participating in technology transfer activities optimize water-use efficiency in their mature orchards. Pecan growers in the drier areas of the RioA new grower network known as the Texas Irrigators Support Program (TISP) was established and Grande Basin irrigate more than 56 inches per acre per year, making pecans one of the highest-water-recruited members representing a range of grower technological experience and crops. Through demanding crops in the arid regions. Throughout 2009, the second year of research was conducted toTISP, researchers provided irrigation decision support for watermelon, peanut, coastal hay, sorghum, describe the pecan growth stages during which nut yield and quality are least sensitive to water stress.cabbage and spinach. Researchers also established a working arrangement with a new irrigation Preliminary data suggest that as much as one-third of an acre-foot of water can be saved during ansupport technology company called SmartField and launched their biostress sensors side-by-side with “off” production year with negligible effects on yield or quality. It remains to be seen whether similarsoil moisture sensors to compare the performance of both systems. This is expected to ensure that water savings may be realized during an “on” production year. 50researchers can deliver the most appropriate sensor for irrigation scheduling to growers in the region. 51Six growers were enrolled in the TISP and received crop-stress and soil-moisture monitoring by Oilseed production studied using camelina under varying waterin-field sensor installation, with weekly data reports. The research has been cited in two Texas availabilityA&M University Communications news stories, released by 15 online news sources, and has been Increasing demand for water by rural communities has pressured agriculture to justify the use ofthe subject of three newspaper articles. These stories led to a radio interview of Dr. Diane Rowland water on crops that require substantial water. Research will evaluate the high-value crop camelina,by the Texas Farm Bureau on the Texas Farm Bureau News and Views radio program. In addition, which requires less water, to improve the long-term sustainability of crop production in northeasternRowland was invited to present project research results at five grower-industry meetings: the San New Mexico. Camelina is highly adaptable to dry climates, demonstrates high weed and pestAntonio Farm Show, the Uvalde Lion’s Club, the Texas Plant Protection Conference, Helena’s cotton
resistance, is easily harvested, and has a potential to be a significant component of the biofuel market. Leskovar, D. (2009, January). Effects of pre-harvest cultural strategies on phytochemicals, yield and quality. Presentation at theA total of 119 acres of camelina will be planted into tilled and no-tilled areas of a center pivot, with 2009 OPGMA Congress, Ohio.three types of water treatments applied. Preliminary findings from the first spring planting suggest Leskovar, D. (2009, January). Roots: The foundation of vegetable growth, yield and quality. Presentation at the 2009 OPGMAthe crop requires approximately 8 inches of applied moisture to reach a harvestable stage in plant Congress, Ohio.development under summer growing conditions in northeastern New Mexico. Leskovar, D. I., & Agehara, S. (2009, November). ABA: Chilling and drought stress tolerance for vegetable crops. Project update presentation to Texas AgriLife Research, Uvalde, TX.Publications Leskovar, D. I., Agehara, S., & Crosby, K. (2009). Effect of ABA rates and application frequency on growth of bell pepper and watermelon transplants. HortScience, 44, 1020–1021.Agehara, A., & Leskovar, D. I. (2009). Foliar application of abscisic acid improves drought tolerance of melon transplants.Presentation at the 5th International Symposium on Seed, Transplant and Stand Establishment of Horticultural Crops, 35-P, Leskovar, D. I., Agehara, S., Crosby, K., & Rush, C. (2009). Efficacy of ABA timing, frequency and concentration on growth andMurcia, Spain (Proceedings, p. 73). stress tolerance of pepper transplants. Paper presented at the 12th Texas Pepper Conference (Proceedings, pp. 12–13).Bae, H., Jayaprakasha, G. K., Crosby, K., Leskovar, D., Jifon, J., & Patil, B. S. (2009). Cultivars and growing conditions influence Leskovar, D., Agehara, S., & Shinohara, T. (2009). Hormonal regulation for drought stress tolerance. Presentation at the Multi-ascorbic acid contents in peppers. Paper presented at the 12th Texas Pepper Conference (Proceedings, p. 13). state W2168 Meeting, University of Florida.Bae, H., Jayaprakasha, G. K., Crosby, K., Leskovar, D., Jifon, J., & Patil, B. S. (2009). Variation in ascorbic acid, capsaicinoids, Leskovar, D. I., Agehara, S., Shinohara, T., Jifon, J., Crosby, K., Rush, C., & Goreta Ban, S. (2009). ABA as a tool to impartand flavonoids of different pepper cultivars. Paper presented at the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center Conference, stress tolerance and control growth of vegetable transplants. Presentation at the 5th International Symposium on Seed,Austin, TX (Proceedings, EN-8). Transplant and Stand Establishment of Horticultural Crops, 35-P, Murcia, Spain.Crosby, K., Jifon, J. L., Yoo, K. S., & Leskovar, D. I. (2009). Novel vegetable cultivars from TAMU improving human health Leskovar, D., & Bari, M. (in press). Il carciofo in USA. In Angelini e Calabrese (Eds.), Il carciofo. Milan, Italy: Bayerbenefits, flavor and productivity. Acta Horticulturae, 841, 499–502. CropScience.Crosby, K., Yoo, K. S., Leskovar, D. I., & Jifon, J. (2009). Developing vegetables with enhanced antioxidant levels. Paper Leskovar, D. I., Crosby, K., & Jifon, J. L. (2009). Impact of agronomic practices on phytochemicals and quality of vegetablepresented at the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center Conference, Austin, TX (Proceedings, G-BN 10). crops. Acta Horticulturae, 841, 317–322.Enciso-Medina, J., Multer, W. L., & Lamm, F. (2009, June). Evaluation of old subsurface drip irrigation systems in Texas Leskovar, D., & Piccinni, G. (2009, January). Drip irrigation for vegetable crops: Yield and quality. Presentation to Monsanto(ASAE Paper 095725). Reno, Nevada: American Society of Agricultural Engineers. personnel, St. Louis, MO.Enciso-Medina, J., Multer, W. L., & Lamm, F. (2009, December). Impact of management on the life expectancy of drip Leskovar, D. I., Shinohara, T., Agehara, S., Cooper, S., Yoo, K., & Patil, B. (2009). Development of cultural strategies forsystems. Proceedings of the Annual International Irrigation Show, San Antonio, TX, 1039–1056. artichoke production in Texas. Paper presented at the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center Conference, Austin, TX (Proceedings, EN-4).Enciso, J., Wiedenfeld, B., Jifon, J., & Nelson, S. (2009). Onion yield and quality response to two irrigation schedulingstrategies. Scientia Horticulturae, 120, 301–305. Leskovar, D., Shinohara, T., & Patil, B. (2009, June). Integrated approaches for annual artichoke production in southwest Texas. Presentation at the 7th International Symposium on artichoke, Saint Pol de Leon, France.Faircloth, W. H., & Rowland, D. L. (2009, January). A comparison of cotton performance and water use efficiency in two long-term tillage systems. Paper presented at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, LA. Nelson, S. D. (2009, January). Monitoring pesticide fate and movement in soils in the LRGV. Presentation at the annual meeting of the Multistate Research Project, W-1082, Riverside, CA.Garlapati, S. (2009, December). Uptake of soil-applied neonicotinoids by citrus plants and their impact on selected biologicalparameters of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri. Master’s thesis, Texas A&M University–Kingsville. Nelson, S. (2009, December). TAMU–Kingsville Citrus Center students sweep graduate agricultural division awards. Citrus Center Newsletter, 27(6), 1–2.Hinojosa, R. R., Nelson, S. D., & Setamou, M. (2009, November). Movement and efficacy of aldicarb in relation to floodirrigation timing. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Texas A&M System Pathways to the Doctorate Symposium, Laredo, TX. Nelson, S., & Enciso, J. (2009, June). Compost use for citrus water conservation and sustaining yield. Citrus Center Newsletter, 27(3), 3.Hinojosa, R. R., Nelson, S. D., Setamou, M., & Rodriguez, E. (2009, May). Aldicarb degradation in flood irrigated South Texassoils in relation to citrus pest efficacy. Presentation at the National Cooperative Soil Survey Conference 2009, Las Cruces, NM. Nelson, S. D., McLemore, T., Enciso, J., Peries, X., Young, M., & Klose, S. (2009, May). Overview of Agricultural Water Conservation Demonstration Initiative (ADI) projects in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Presentation at the annual ConsortiumHinojosa, R. R., Nelson, S. D., Setamou, M., & Rodriguez, E. (2009, August). Adsorption, degradation, and efficacy of aldicarb for Irrigation Research and Education (CIRE) Conference, Amarillo, TX.in relation to flood irrigation timing in South Texas soils. Poster presented at the National Organization of ProfessionalHispanic Natural Resource Conservation Service Employees 2009 Conference, Philadelphia, PA. Nelson, S. D., Rock, L., & Lloyd-Rielley, J. (2009, September). Flowering native plants able to withstand elevated abiotic salt 52 stress. Presentation at the 5th International Symposium on Seed, Transplant and Stand Establishment of Horticultural CropsJifon, J., Crosby, K., & Leskovar, D. (2009). Water relations, yield, and fruit quality of grafted, field-grown watermelons. (SEST2009), Murcia, Spain. 53HortScience, 44(4), 1172. Niu, G., Rodriguez, D., Crosby, K., Leskovar, D., & Jifon, J. (2009). Rapid screening for salt tolerance in specialty peppers.Jifon, J. L., & Lester, G. E. (2009, July). Water relations, yield, and fruit quality of grafted, field-grown watermelons. Poster HortScience, 44, 1021.presented at the 107th Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences, St. Louis, MO. Niu, G., Rodriguez, D., Leskovar, D., Crosby, K., & Jifon, J. (2009). Drought tolerance of specialty chile peppers.Jifon, J., Lester, G., Crosby, K., & Leskovar, D. (2009). Improving the quality attributes of melons through modified mineral HortScience, 44, 1021–1022.nutrition. Acta Horticulturae, 841, 499–502.
Piccinni, G., Ko, J., Marek, T., & Leskovar, D. I. (2009). Crop coefficients specific to multiple phenological stages for Uckoo, R. M., Enciso, J. M., Wesselmann, I. W., Jones, K., & Nelson, S. D. (2009). Impact of compost application on citrusevapotranspiration-based irrigation management of onion and spinach. HortScience, 44, 421–425. production under drip and microjet spray irrigation systems. In N. Benkeblia & P. Tennant (Eds.), Citrus II: Tree and forestry science and biotechnology, Vol. 3 (Special Issue 1), 59–65.Piccinni, G., Ko, J., Marek, T., & Leskovar, D. (2009). Crop coefficients specific to phonological stages for evapotranspiration-based irrigation management of onion and spinach. HortScience, 44, 1022. Uckoo, R. M., Nelson, S. D., Jayaprakasha, G. K., & Patil, B. S. (2009). Impact of low water use systems on bioactive flavonoids of grapefruit (presentation at the 2nd International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits andRaygoza, J., Setamou, M., & Nelson, S. D. (2009, November). Organic production practices on the dynamics of major Vegetables). Acta Horticulturae, 841, 607–610.citrus pests [2nd place graduate winner]. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Texas A&M System Pathways to the DoctorateSymposium, Laredo, TX. Wen, Y. (2009, November). Regulated deficit irrigation application and the physiological responses of cotton in southwest Texas. Poster presented at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA 2009 International Annual Meetings, Pittsburgh, PA.Rodriguez, E. (2009, December). Off-target soil depositional loss of select foliar pesticides applied on citrus by air-blast sprayerapplication. Master’s thesis, Texas A&M University–Kingsville. Wen, Y., Piccinni, G., Cothren, J. T., Leskovar, D. I., & Rowland, D. L. (2009, January). The lint and fiber quality of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) under several regulated deficit irrigation schemes in southwest Texas. Poster presented at theRodriguez, E., Nelson, S. D., Setamou, M., Saldana, R. R., & Hinojosa, R. R. (2009, May). Off-site soil quantification of foliar Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, LA.pesticides applied on citrus. Poster presented at the National Cooperative Soil Survey Conference 2009, Las Cruces, NM. Wen, Y., Piccinni, G., Cothren, J. T., Leskovar, D. I., Rowland, D., & Kemanian, A. (2009). Regulated deficit irrigation andRodriguez, E., Nelson, S. D., Setamou, M., & Saldana, R. R. (2009, November). Off-target soil depositional loss of select foliar cotton production responses in southwest Texas. Paper presented at the U.S. Society for Irrigation and Drainage Professionalspesticides applied to citrus. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Texas A&M System Pathways to the Doctorate Symposium, 5th International Conference on Irrigation and Drainage, “Irrigation and Drainage for Food, Energy and the Environment,”Laredo, TX. Salt Lake City, UT (Proceedings, pp. 289–300).Romero, M., & Nelson, S. D. (2009, November). Impacts of sugarcane leaf litter and organic matter on atrazine adsorption in Wen, Y., Piccinni, G., Cothren, J. T., Leskovar, D. I., Rowland, D. L., & Kemanian, A. R. (2009, January). Regulated deficitsoil. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Texas A&M System Pathways to the Doctorate Symposium, Laredo, TX. irrigation application and the physiological responses of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in southwest Texas. Paper presentedRomero, M., Nelson, S. D., Enciso, J. M., & Peries, X. (2009, May). Sugarcane leaf litter and ash organic matter effects on at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, LA.atrazine sorption and movement in soils. Poster presented at the 2009 National Cooperative Soil Survey Conference, Las Wiedenfeld, B., Enciso, J., Jifon, J., Nelson, S., & Sauls, J. (2009). Fertilization programs for ‘Rio Red’ grapefruit (CitrusCruces, NM. paradisi Macf.) in South Texas. International Journal of Fruit Science, 9(3), 201–210.Rowland, D. L., Faircloth, W. H., Payton, P., & Tissue, D. (2009, November). Recurrent examination of peanut physiological Young, M., Klose, S. L., Kasse, G., Nelson, S., & Enciso, J. (2009, July). New orchard establishment: Flood and 1-line dripperformance during the progression of water stress reveals important clues to the mechanisms of drought tolerance. Paper irrigation illustration for ‘Rio Red’ grapefruit in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (FARM Assistance Focus 2009). College Station:presented at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA 2009 International Annual Meetings, Pittsburgh, PA. Texas AgriLife Extension Service. rSevostianova, E., Leinauer, B., Shukla, M., & Maier, B. (2009). Using turtuosity and bulk electrical conductivitymeasurements to estimate salinity in a sandy soil [CD-ROM]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA 2009 International Annual Meetings Abstracts.Sevostianova, E., Leinauer, B., Shukla, M., & Maier, B. (2009). Using turtuosity and bulk electrical conductivitymeasurements to estimate salinity in a sandy soil [CD-ROM]. 16th School “Ecology and Soil Science” Abstracts.Silva, M. A., DaSilva, J. A., Sharma V., & Jifon, J. L. (2009, August). Chlorophyll and leaf relative water content as indicatorsof drought tolerance on sugarcane initial growth. Proceedings of the XXVII ISSCT Congress.Stanko, R. L., Nelson, S. D., Laurenz, J. C., & Garcia, M. R. (2009, July). Enhancing underrepresented, minority studentlearning through agricultural and natural resources based research (presentation at the 2009 Joint Annual Meeting ADSA-CSAS-ASAS, Montreal, Canada). Journal of Animal Science, 87, E-Suppl. 2, 382.Supercinski, D., Piccinni, G., Marek, T. Kemanian, A., & Leskovar, D. (2009, January). Precision Irrigators Network.Presentation at the South Texas Irrigation Conference and Trade Show, Hondo, TX.Talari, M. (2009, December). Different water regimes on aldicarb efficacy for citrus rust mite control. Master’s thesis, TexasA&M University–Kingsville.Talari, M., Setamou, M., Nelson, S. D., & da Graca, J. V. (2009, November). Different water regimes on aldicarb efficacy forcitrus rust mite control. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Texas A&M System Pathways to the Doctorate Symposium, 54Laredo, TX. 55Tanner, J., Kunta, M., da Graca, J. V., Skaria, M., & Nelson, S. D. (2009, November). Studies on citrus tatter leaf virus seedtransmission [1st place graduate winner]. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Texas A&M System Pathways to the DoctorateSymposium, Laredo, TX.
09 Task 5 Research10 trees and surrounding soils and landscapes, eventually providing clear justification for systematic Urban Water Conservation monitoring and control by arborists, landscapers and homeowners. Evaluation of irrigation discharge rates and distribution uniformity for rainwater harvesting system applications continues Characteristics of emitters under low pressure are essential for designing drip irrigation systems. Low-pressure data for drip emitters are not available from manufacturers. A laboratory test was Evaluating water and nutrient use of trees infested by mistletoe conducted to evaluate the performance of five types of newly manufactured drip tapes, especially During 2009 researchers monitored water use and nutrient content in leaf tissues of three species under a low-pressure distribution system. The five drip products tested were (1) Toro Drip in PC of Texas native trees, cedar elm, hackberry, and bois d’arc, infested with semiparasitic broadleaf (PCS 1810-18-100), (2) Netafim Typhoon (875 FT-Tape), (3) Mister_LS (MLD-HDT100), (4) mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.). The evaluated trees were growing under managed landscape Mister_PS (MLD-1PC 25), and (5) Netafim (Techline CV 560 050). To date, data from 60 emitters conditions. The collected data confirmed that mistletoe leaves are actively transpiring throughout the on each of the five products has been compiled. Preliminary results have shown that at the low year, including during the winter months, when the host trees are dormant. The rate of water loss per pressures, distribution uniformity and coefficient of variation vary greatly based on the selected unit leaf area of mistletoe leaves during the spring, summer and fall months are on average similar to product. Once the data analysis is complete, researchers will be able to provide water conservation those of the host tree leaves when considering only the lower side of the leaves. However, mistletoe recommendations on low-pressure drip irrigation system designs. water loss occurs on both its upper and lower leaf surfaces, whereas the host tree loses water mostly on the lower side. Thus the overall mistletoe water loss per unit leaf area is generally twice as large as Performance of roof washers used by rainwater harvesting in host tree leaves. systems tested As the world population increases, the demand increases for quality drinking water. Rainwater The average nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium concentrations in mistletoe leaves were harvesting has the potential to assist in alleviating pressures on current water supplies and significantly higher than those observed in cedar elm and bois d’arc leaves. Only leaf calcium stormwater drainage systems. Diversion of a portion of the collected water away from storage is a concentrations were higher in bois d’arc leaves than in mistletoe. The mistletoe leaves also had higher technique used to improve harvested rainwater water quality before storage. Six configurations of a chlorophyll levels compared to the host leaves, despite the fact that the iron content in mistletoe downspout first flush diverter were constructed and tested in the laboratory. The configurations were leaves was much lower than in the hosts. evaluated for their affinity to allow water in the diverter chamber to interact with the flow of water to storage. Experiments were conducted at flow rates ranging from 0.76 L/min to 113.56 L/min. This The researchers also evaluated hourly water use over a couple of summer days and found that range of flow rates adequately represents a wide range of common storm intensity patterns to which mistletoe water use was similarly patterned as in the host tree leaves, denoting a standard stomatal downspout first flush diverters are subjected across the United States. behavior to environmental cues such as sunlight. Research will continue over one more season, including photosynthetic performance of host and parasite leaves. Data will be collected over more The diverter chamber to downspout transition fittings tested on a 10.16 cm diameter diverter hourly time cycles and under differing environmental and soil conditions. The ultimate goals of this chamber, upward- and downward-oriented sanitary and straight tee, do not have a significant impact work are to effectively estimate how much water and nutrients mistletoe plants drain from their host on the mean difference in initial and final total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations observed at multiple sample ports. No statistical difference was observed when comparing upward- and downward-oriented sanitary tees used as diverter chambers to downspout transition fittings on 10.16 and 15.24 cm diverter chambers. Researchers used a straight tee as a transition fitting with a floating ball that acted as a barrier between water collected in the diverter chamber and the flow passing through the transition fitting. This limited diverted water from interacting with the subsequent flow of harvested rainwater. There is not a significant difference between the use of a downspout first flush diverter with diverter chamber diameters of 10.16 cm and 15.24 cm using upward- and downward- oriented sanitary tees as downspout to diverter chamber transition fittings. Tests at flow rates less than or equal to 12.11 L/min exhibited limited changes in TDS concentrations in the downspout first flush diverters with 15.24 cm diameter diverter chambers. Tests at flow rates less than or equal to 1.51 L/min exhibited limited changes in TDS concentrations in the downspout first flush diverters with 56 10.16 cm diameter chambers. The diverter chamber drain flow rate and volume affects the observed 57 differences in initial and final TDS concentrations at all sample ports on the diverter chamber of a downspout first flush diverter, regardless of flow rate. The diverter chamber drain flow rate affects the flow rate of water entering the diverter chamber through the transition fitting.
Solar powered pumping systems evaluated for small-scale irrigation Salt tolerance of six zinnia cultivars evaluatedsystems using rainwater Zinnias with prolific bloom and tolerance to hot and dry summerIrrigation using harvested rainwater can be limited by a location’s elevation or available power conditions are planted widely in many gardens in the United States.supply. Solar power is a clean source of energy that may provide an alternative to conventional utility However, their salt tolerance was previously unknown. El Paso researchersconnections. A small solar pumping system was constructed and is operating to test the performance evaluated salt tolerance of six zinnia cultivars (‘Zahara Yellow’, ‘Zaharacapacities and system reliability. The system pumps nightly and recharges during the day. The White’, ‘Zahara Scarlet’, ‘Zahara Rose Starlight’, ‘Zahara Fire,’ and ‘Zaharaongoing testing started in April 2009 and will conclude in April 2010. The charging system consists Coral Rose’) using similar methodology to that for the above beddingof a 20W photovoltaic module tilted 40 degrees and oriented south. A charge controller regulates plants. Research results indicated that zinnias are moderately salt-sensitive.the current delivered to the battery while preventing overcharging and reverse current flow. Energy Therefore, scientists would not recommend that they be planted inis stored in a standard 12 volt 115 amp hr deep cycle battery. The 12 volt 1.8 GPM diaphragm pump landscapes where low-quality water may be used for irrigation.circulates water from a 55-gallon barrel. A 12 volt programmable timer and solenoid control theoperation of the pump. Salt tolerance of wildflowers evaluated Native wildflowers are appropriate plants for water-conserving landscapesThe goal is to determine the effect of varying solar radiation conditions on the performance of a because of low maintenance, including less application of fertilizer,pumping system. The system performance is measured through daily flow, pumping duration and pesticides and water. This study evaluated salt tolerance of threevoltage fluctuation. The final data analysis will provide guidance for sizing a solar pumping system wildflowers: trumpet evening primrose (Oenothera elata), mealy blue sagebased on required flow and available solar radiation. (Salvia farinacea ‘Raider Assure’™), and prairie zinnia (Zinnia grandiflora ‘Raider Gold’). Seeds were germinated in the greenhouse, and seedlingsSolar distillation systems evaluated for reducing saline concentration were grown in containers in the greenhouse. Prairie zinnia did not surviveof feed water at EC 7.3 dS/m, whereas all plants survived for trumpet evening primrose. According to their growth, survival rate, and general performance, trumpetThe availability of quality drinking water is an issue for many people in the world. Solar distillation evening primrose may be the most tolerant and prairie zinnia the leastis a low-cost method of producing high-quality water from a poor-quality water source. Four tolerant of salt stress. Further studies are needed to identify the threshold ofdifferent solar stills were designed, constructed, and are operating to determine individual salinity without salt damage and significant growth reduction.production characteristics of each design and its ability to reduce saline concentrations of feed water.Experiments were conducted in February and September 2009 to capture effects of varying weather Establishing the Virtual Urban Landscape Waterconditions and patterns on still performance and production. Conservation Center The Virtual Urban Landscape Water Conservation Center will combine existing New Mexico StateThrough data collection and research, scientists have been able to calculate average daily water University, state, county, and nonprofit Web sites dealing with Xeriscaping™,* urban irrigation,production rates of the four different stills and view their production trends in relation to solar and other landscape water conservation topics relative to New Mexico and Far West Texas into aradiation. single Web site with integrated services to strengthen educational and Extension outreach related to water conservation topics in the urban landscape. The Virtual Urban Landscape Water ConservationThe average daily production rate for each still enables researchers to determine the required still size Center will become a clearinghouse of information and/or information transfer. The center willbased on design, water-use rate and solar radiation. They also determined that simple solar stills are expand knowledge about demonstration landscapes, increase training opportunities for Extensioneffective in decreasing saline concentrations to levels lower than in common tap water. agents and Master Gardeners, and support the dissemination of academic and applied research techniques. A master’s student is currently designing a “business plan” for the sustainability of theSalt tolerance of bedding plants evaluated site and conducting research on the interactive tools, collaborative sites, structure and design of theBedding plants are extensively used in landscapes in the United States. As high-quality water site. This student will examine a Logic Model of adoption by users and evaluate the content, usability,supply becomes limited in many parts of the world, recycled water is being encouraged to irrigate interactivity and marketability of the site. This will in part involve research with human subjects wholandscapes. The relative salinity tolerance of eight bedding plants that were previously proved to will participate in the overall evaluation process. This student has completed a research proposalbe acceptable or excellent in semiarid environments was evaluated. Seedlings were irrigated with and literature review and is navigating the Institutional Board policies concerning surveying futuresaline solutions at various salinity levels, and salinity tolerance was determined according to their users of the site. User feedback surveys will be conducted during site development, with a final user 58growth, visual quality, and physiological responses. Results indicated that all species were moderately satisfaction survey intended for early 2011. 59salt-tolerant and may be irrigated with alternative water sources with salinity up to 4.0 dS m-1without salt damage or significant growth reduction. These bedding plants were evaluated twice for *Xeriscape is a registered trademark of Denver Water, Denver, CO, and is used here with permission.their salt tolerance, in an outdoor shade house and in the greenhouse. Therefore, it is safe to usereclaimed water to irrigate landscapes where these bedding plants are used. Conservatively speaking, It takes water conservation to live in New Mexicothe potential water savings may reach to 19,528 million gallons per year, assuming 50 percent of New Mexico has seen an influx of new residents over the past 10 years. Between 2000 and 2005, Newlandscapes in El Paso are irrigated with recycled water. Mexico saw more than 200,000 migrate to New Mexico. Many of these persons have never lived in
an arid or semiarid desert and have very little knowledge of water conservation and what it means Fernandez, T., Lea-Cox, J., Zinati, G., Hong, C., Cabrera, R. I., Merhaut, D., Albano, J., Van Iersel, M., Yeager, T., & Buhler,to live in the desert. Working with the New Mexico Association of Realtors (NMAR), researchers in D. (2009). NCDC216: A new multistate group for water management and quality for ornamental crop production and health.this project will promote water conservation and drought preparedness and assist in evaluating and Proceedings of the Southern Nursery Association Research Conference, 54, 35–38.reducing drought impacts by fostering the continued development of the New Mexico Community Niu, G., & Cabrera, R. (2009, July). Growth and physiological responses of landscape plants and nursery crops to elevatedCollaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network. The network is being used by the National salinity levels in alternative water sources. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Society for HorticulturalWeather Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the USDA-Natural Science, St. Louis, MO.Resources Conservation Service as well as scientists, producers, engineers and others throughout New Niu, G., Gu, M., & Rodriguez, D. S. (2009). Effects of substrate and salinity of irrigation water on the growth of SophoraMexico. In addition, researchers have installed several new weather stations throughout New Mexico secundiflora. Proceedings of the Southern Nursery Association Research Conference, 54, 1–7.to assist in the monitoring of drought. Niu, G., & Rodriguez, D. S. (2009). Growth and physiological responses of four rose rootstocks to drought stress. Journal of American Society for Horticultural Science, 134(2), 202–209.Publications Niu, G., & Rodriguez, D. S. (2009). Salt tolerance of ten bedding plants. Proceedings of the Southern Nursery AssociationCabrera, R. I. (2009). Salinity stress in horticultural crops: Essential concepts and considerations to sound experimental Research Conference, 54, 405–410.details and procedures [Abstract]. HortScience, 44(4), 981. Niu, G., Rodriguez, D. S., Crosby, K., Leskovar, D., & Jifon, J. (2009, July). Rapid screening for salt tolerance in specialtyCabrera, R. I. (2009, January). Preventing disease with proper minor element nutrition. Seminar presented at the Production peppers (paper presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science, St. Louis, MO).Horticulture Seminars hosted by Romeo Packing, Watsonville and Carpinteria, CA. HortScience, 44(4), 1020–1021.Cabrera, R. I. (2009, August). Drought and salinity stress in ornamental plants and trees. Seminar presented at the 2009 Niu, G., Rodriguez, D. S., Leskovar, D., Jifon, J., & Crosby, K. (2009, July). Drought tolerance of specialty chile peppers (paperNursery/Landscape Pre-Expo Education Conference sponsored by Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, Dallas, TX. presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science, St. Louis, MO). HortScience, 44(4), 1021–1022.Cabrera, R. I. (2009, August). Use of saline and poor quality irrigation waters on the production and management ofornamental plants. Plenary conference presentation in Spanish at the XIII Congreso Nacional de la Sociedad Mexicana de Niu, G., Rodriguez, D. S., & Starman, T. (2009, July). Bedding plants responded to salinity stress differently (paper presentedCiencias Hortícolas, Torreón, Coahuila, México. at the annual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science, St. Louis, MO). HortScience, 44(4), 1073.Cabrera, R. I. (2009, September). Irrigation water quality: Horticultural considerations and management for ornamental Solís-Pérez, A. R., & Cabrera, R. I. (2009). The effect of rootstocks on the salinity tolerance of greenhouse roses. Proceedingsplants. Seminar presented at Lectures in Bloom 2009, Las Vegas, NV. of the Southern Nursery Association Research Conference, 54, 411–417. rCabrera, R. I. (2009, October). ABC’s of fertilization and nutrient management for ornamental plant growers. Hands-ontraining workshop taught in Spanish, sponsored by the California Ornamental Research Federation (CORF) and University ofCalifornia Cooperative Extension, Watsonville.Cabrera, R. I. (2009, October). Urban trees: Selection, planting and care. Seminar presented at the Urban Solutions CenterCommunity Garden Seminar Series, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas.Cabrera, R. I. (2009, October). Use of saline and poor quality irrigation waters on the production and management ofornamental plants. Keynote presentation in Spanish at the XII Congreso Nacional y V Internacional de HorticulturaOrnamental, Córdoba, Veracruz, México.Cabrera, R. I., & McCormick, J. (2009). Assessing water and nutrient use by leafy mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.) and some ofits urban host trees [Abstract]. HortScience, 44(4), 1032.Cabrera, R. I., & Solís-Pérez, A. R. (2009, March–April). Optimizing rose crop fertilization and irrigation over hourly, dailyand seasonal time scales: Ion and water uptake over daily cycles. International Cut Flower Growers Association Bulletin,27–30.Cabrera, R. I., & Solís-Pérez, A. R. (2009, September–October). Optimizing rose crop fertilization and irrigation over hourly,daily and seasonal time scales: Cyclical ion and water uptake over different time scales. International Cut Flower Growers 60Association Bulletin, 16–19. 61Cabrera, R. I., Solís-Pérez, A. R., & Sloan, J. J. (2009). Greenhouse rose yield and ion accumulation responses to salt stress asmodulated by rootstock selection. HortScience, 44(7), 2000–2008.Fernandez, T., Lea-Cox, J., Zinati, G., Hong, C., Cabrera, R. I., Merhaut, D., Albano, J., Van Iersel, M., Yeager, T., & Buhler,D. (2009). NCDC216: A new multistate group for water management and quality for ornamental crop production and health[Abstract]. HortScience, 44(4), 1188–1189.
09 Task 6 Research10 Environment, Ecology and Water Quality Protection Weed scientists examine horsetail growth on irrigation canals Research has begun at New Mexico State University to describe the life cycle and growth habitat of horsetail (Equisetum) on Elephant Butte Arundo donax vigor is highest in sandy soils Irrigation District (EBID) canals, Heavy infestations of giant reed (Arundo donax) are found throughout the lower Rio Grande, in order to design and evaluate especially between Laredo and Del Rio, and often extend from the river bank to the farthest reaches effective management strategies for of the floodplain. Floodplains are widest inside of river meanders (called vegas), whereas the its control. Horsetail is a dominant floodplain is constricted to a narrower band of vegetation on the outside of meander bends. While species along the canals and is a the Arundo appears at a coarse scale to be largely uniform in these zones, researchers found high concern to the managers of EBID variation in density, height and water usage that corresponded to variations in soil texture and because of its impact on irrigation moisture that occur from the river bank to the farthest extent of the Arundo infestation. Stands of management and efficiency. The Arundo were more vigorous with increasing sand content, even if these areas were quite far from horsetail population interrupts and slows down water flow, resulting in wasted water that could be the river. Surprisingly, even though soil moisture was lower in sandy soils, transpiration rates used instead for irrigation. were highest in the sandiest soils. Possibly, river water is transmitted best through sandy riparian deposits, although researchers currently lack a mechanistic explanation for this observation. Based Scouring rush (Equisetum hyemale) is one of the dominant species of weeds found on the irrigation on observations of the isotopic composition of plant water, surface soil water, river water and canals of EBID in southern New Mexico; once established it can cause significant water loss via precipitation, it appears that access to deeper water varies across transects and between riparian zone ponding and evapotranspiration. Controlling scouring rush can be difficult using conventional types, although groundwater data will be critical here. In addition, stable carbon and nitrogen isotope methods because it has a high silica content, which prevents herbicides from being effectively ratios suggest differences in water-use efficiencies and nitrogen sources that may also help explain absorbed. It is also a perennial and can quickly reestablish from its underground creeping rhizomes. observed differences in transpiration and productivity. Future work aims to better characterize This study hypothesizes that the life cycle and rate of spread of scouring rush is affected by the the source of water used by Arundo in the floodplain and to quantify the proportion of river water canal ecosystem’s characteristics, such as soil properties, vegetation communities, environmental extracted by this invasive species. conditions, and disturbance patterns. A survey of 20 sites on the EBID canal banks distributed throughout the lower Leasburg system began in June 2009. Data, such as vegetation community Two Master of Science students continue work on this project for their graduate degrees in the composition and environmental conditions, was recorded at two-week intervals throughout the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. The project also partially supported a research irrigation season and then monthly after irrigation ended. This study is ongoing, but preliminary technician in 2009. Construction of four transects were completed and instrumented with soil results show greater scouring rush patch expansion throughout the 2009 irrigation season on canals moisture access tubes. Scientists conducted measurements of aboveground and belowground with smaller capacities than on those with larger capacities. The spread of scouring rush on irrigation biomass, soil texture analysis, soil moisture, and leaf gas exchange (including transpiration rates). canals could be related to standard weed-control practices, such as glyphosate application and They also collected rainwater, river water, plant water and soil water for comparison of hydrogen mowing and scraping of the banks, which seem to have little effect on scouring rush populations and oxygen isotopes and but do reduce populations of competing vegetation. Presently, little is known about why horsetail leaf material for carbon has grown to the extent that it has, but this study hopes to examine and measure changes in soil and nitrogen isotopes. This properties and vegetation in locations infested with horsetail to determine how these factors affect information is needed to spread. The information will contribute to developing management strategies for horsetail and identify water sources used by determining the effects it has on soil physical and chemical properties. Arundo donax and enhance understanding of Arundo Ecologists study irrigation system wetlands along the Rio Grande Basin performance and consequential in New Mexico water-use patterns. Research As populations grow in the Rio Grande Valley, so does the degree of modification of the river’s 62 was presented at the “Land, ecology. There are ever-increasing demands for conversion of agricultural uses of water to urban 63 Water, People” Conference uses, and the biota of arid-land rivers such as the Rio Grande are often lost in the tug-of-war and the Texas A&M AgriLife between competing interests for water in short supply. Research from this project will seek strategies Conference, and two for agriculture and the environment. This project will collaborate with the Middle Rio Grande manuscripts were submitted to Conservancy District on development of refugial fish habitats in association with irrigation return peer-reviewed journals. canals, conduct research on wetlands connected to the irrigation and drainage systems, and conduct pilot studies on genetic adaptability of fish to elevated salinity, which is common for irrigation
09 Task 7 Researchreturn waters. Field sampling for fish and invertebrates in the Rio Grande and associated canals andephemeral wetlands has been conducted. A journal article was published documenting the effects of 10 Saline and Wastewater Managementsalinity on eggs of the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow, and an additional article will comparesalinity effects on eggs of five minnow species in the Rio Grande Basin. Considerable tension exists and Water Reusealong the Rio Grande where agricultural water users are under attack to surrender water to keep theRio Grande wet during climatically dry years. This project will identify strategies allowing the two towork in harmony. Salinity and specific ion effects on onion establishment studied inPublications relation to concentrate disposal This project was developed for evaluating agronomic implications when the concentrate fromCarrasco, C. P. (in preparation). Comparisons of the fish fauna within the lower Rio Grande of New Mexico to the adjacent nanofiltration (NF) is to be disposed of into irrigation streams. The NF concentrate is enriched withirrigation system and historical records of occurrence. Master’s thesis, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. divalent ions, as the membrane is designed to take out mainly divalent ions from the feed water. ElCowley, D. E., Alleman, J. C., & Sallenave, R. (2009, March). Studies on eggs of Notropis simus pecosensis (Pecos bluntnose Paso researchers conducted a greenhouse study for assessing the effects of salinity and specific ionsshiner) and other minnows of concern to water managers in New Mexico. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Final Report, Contract on seedling emergence, sodium and chlorine uptake, and growth of onions. Onions are the mainNo. 04-CS-40-8082. cool-season crop grown in the Rio Grande Basin of Texas and New Mexico. Detailed results were reported in Effects of Salinity and Specific Ion Effects on Seedling Growth of Onions (Miyamoto, Niu,Cowley, D. E., Alleman, J. C., Sallenave, R., McShane, R. R., & Shirey, P. D. (2009). Effects of salinity on specific gravity and & Martinez, 2008, TWRI Report No. TR-319) and Potential Impact of Desalination Concentrate onviability of eggs of a North American minnow (Cyprinidae). Scientia Marina, 73, Supplement S1, 47–58. Salinity of Irrigation Water: A Case Study in the El Paso Valley (Miyamoto, 2008, TWRI Report No.Kui, L., Shallock, J. R., Li, F., Moore, G. W., & West, J. B. (2010, January). Ecohydrological controls on the distribution and TR-341). The conclusion of these studies was that the disposal of NF concentrates into irrigationperformance of giant reed (Arundo donax) in the Rio Grande Valley. Presentation at the Texas A&M AgriLife Conference, streams increases osmotic stress, which cannot be compensated by lowering mono to divalent ionCollege Station. ratios. For this reporting period, a manuscript was prepared and submitted for publication in aMacdonald, K. S., Sallenave, R., & Cowley, D. E. (2010). Morphological and genetic variation in Triops (Branchiopoda: peer-reviewed journal, Desalination and Water Treatment. The paper was accepted and is expected toNotostraca) from ephemeral waters of the northern Chihuahuan Desert of North America. Journal of the North American appear in 2010. In addition, researchers prepared a chapter in a consolidated report to the AmericanBenthological Association. Water Work Association and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.Moore, G. W. (2009, November). Fundamentals of riparian function: What’s the matter with plant invaders like Arundodonax? Presentation at the “Land, Water, People” Joint Conference sponsored by the River Systems Institute, the Texas Salt tolerance of pecan rootstock accessions evaluatedRiparian Association, and the Texas Water Resources Institute, San Marcos, TX. Production of pecans (the number one crop in the middle Rio Grande Basin) requires large quantities of low-salt water, yet the availability of low-salt water is becoming less certain, especiallyMoore, G. W. (in press) Arundo donax: Life history traits explain success and threats to riparian biota. Invasive Plant Science in the orchards located in the El Paso Valley and the Pecos sub-basin. One method to cope withand Management Journal. this situation is to introduce rootstocks that have higher salt tolerance. A greenhouse experimentWatts, D. A., Moore, G. W., & Goolsby, J. A. (2010). Ecophysiological responses of giant reed (Arundo donax) to herbivory. designed to evaluate the growth response of 17 rootstock selections from locations in the UnitedManuscript submitted for publication. States and Mexico has been completed. Researchers observed a great deal of difference in growthSchroeder, J., Ulery, A., Ashigh, J., & Murray, L. (2009, August). Soil property and salinity impacts on horsetail growth andpopulation development on irrigation canals and on horsetail management. Efficient Irrigation for Water Conservation in theRio Grande Basin 2008–2009 Progress and Accomplishments. r 64 65
rates. For this period, they analyzed leaf samples for sodium and chlorine, both of which cause Relative salt tolerance of eight chilespecific ion effects. Results indicated that there is a significant difference in chlorine uptake but not pepper cultivars evaluatedsodium uptake among the 17 selections tested. For this reporting period, researchers also added an A field study on screening the relative salt toleranceadditional experiment using selected accessions to test whether chlorine absorption following a short- of chile peppers, collaborating with New Mexicoterm exposure to high concentrations in irrigation water may provide the reliable correlation with State University, was conducted. Salt tolerance oflong exposure. Unfortunately, this experiment was lost during a hailstorm when the glass greenhouse seven cultivars (Capsicum annumm ‘Early Jalapeno’,and the test plants were destroyed. The greenhouse has been reconstructed, and the preparation is ‘Golden Treasure’, ‘NuMex Sweet’, ‘NuMex Joe E.proceeding to resume the experiment and prepare a consolidated report. In the meantime, a genetics Parker’, ‘Santa Fe Grande’, C. chinense ‘Habanero’,specialist from the USDA is considering DNA profile tests to connect the researchers’ observations to and ‘Pimienta De Chiera’) and one accessiongenetic traits. (NMCA 10652) of chile peppers was evaluated. Three saline solution treatments, prepared by addingSoil suitability and usability assessed for developing parks NaCl, MgSO4, and CaCl2 to tap water at differentand sports fields amounts to create three salinity levels of 0.82Irrigation of urban green space consumes nearly half of the municipal potable water supply in most dS/m (control, tap water), 2.5 dS/m, and 4.1 dS/mcommunities along the Rio Grande. The traditional approaches to reducing outdoor irrigation electrical conductivity, were initiated on June 15 andhave been to use drought-tolerant plants and/or improve irrigation systems and management. ended in late August. Based on growth, survival rate,More recently, many communities began to implement irrigation with salty, nonpotable water, and visual salt damage, NMCA 10652 was the most tolerant and ‘Habanero’ was the least tolerantsuch as reclaimed water. Researchers tested several traditional ideas to reduce salt problems, which to salt stress among the eight genotypes. A wide range of salt tolerance was observed among theinclude the use of salt-tolerant plants and application of water in excess of the regional estimate of genotypes, indicating promising results of selecting salt-tolerant chile peppers and the possibility ofconsumption. However, salinization continues, even when potable water is used for irrigation. This using low-quality water for irrigating chile peppers.ongoing study indicates that the cause of soil salinization is related principally to poor soil selectionand/or poor preparation when sports fields or high-traffic parks were constructed. Field survey Relative salt tolerance results of 20 chile pepper cultivars confirmedalso indicates that the use of conventional techniques such as aerification and gypsum application This study was to confirm the relative salt tolerance of 20 cultivars of chile peppers grown in thehad little impact on salt leaching in clayey soils, which occupy 70 percent of the El Paso Valley. greenhouse and irrigated with nutrient solutions (control) or saline solutions. Results indicatedInstead, researchers found that various types of soil profile modification are required. These findings differences in salt tolerance of the selected cultivars and generally agreed with the previous year’sare based on the preliminary field surveys and exploratory testing of soil improvement measures results. Irrigating chile peppers with alternative water sources would yield considerable savings ofreported in Improving Permeability and Salt Leaching in Irrigated Sports Fields: Exploratory Testing freshwater.(TWRI Report No. TR-314). These findings were reported to the El Paso City Parks LandscapeContractors and Land Developers during a workshop in September 2009. Researchers are currently Drought tolerance results of specialty chile peppers repeated;examining the relationship between soil salinization and soil types, as well as readily measureable soil differences foundproperties. They also established a demonstration plot for improving clayey sports fields at one of Drought tolerance of four representative commercial cultivars of chile peppers: ‘AZ-20’, ‘Earlythe El Paso city parks in October 2009. This project has the potential to have an impact on the design Jalapeno’, ‘Joe Parker’, and ‘Sandia’ was evaluated in a greenhouse study. Three dry-down cyclesand maintenance of parks and sports fields toward greater water-use efficiency from a new angle: soil were applied by withholding irrigation until leaves were severely wilted. Plants in the control wereselection and preparation. well irrigated. Dry weight of shoots, roots and total was reduced by drought stress in ‘AZ-20’, ‘Joe Parker’, and ‘Sandia’ but not in ‘Early Jalapeno’. Ratio of root to shoot dry weight was not affectedEvaluating biofuel feedstock production in saline areas by drought stress, regardless of cultivar. Drought stress reduced leaf conductance of all cultivars, butThe availability of water is a main concern for production of biofuel feedstock in the arid Southwest. the relationship between leaf conductance and soil moisture content differed among cultivars. WeResearchers are currently reviewing the salt tolerance of oilseed crops, mainly for evaluating potential found that ‘Early Jalapeno’ was more tolerant to drought stress compared to other cultivars. Furtherproduction in saline areas using salty water. Oilseed crops, which are grown mostly during the experiments will be conducted to confirm the results of this study.cool season, have comparatively low water requirements and moderate to high salt tolerance; thusthey can fill the niche. However, these crops are difficult to establish in saline areas unless a special Third-year evaluation of using treated urban wastewater for irrigatingcultural practice is developed. Researchers are also investigating woody species for fuel wood and bioenergy crops 66possibly for conversion to alcohol or gas. Some species have high salt tolerance, high growth rate, Treated urban wastewater for irrigating bioenergy crops such as switchgrass was evaluated for the 67and, above all, deep root systems and low production costs. Some of these species could be grown in third year. Preliminary data from this research shows that among nine switchgrass cultivars (‘Alamo’,saline areas along the Rio Grande below El Paso, where surface water supply from the Rio Grande ‘Kanlow’, ‘KY 1625’, ‘Dacotah’, ‘Trailblazer’, ‘Shawnee’, ‘TEM-SLC’, ‘TEM-SEC’, ‘SL932001-1’)is unstable and limited, but the shallow saline groundwater is plentiful, thus causing salinization of evaluated, ‘Alamo’ had good germination under treated wastewater irrigation. Representativeabandoned farmlands and floodplains. Agroforestry systems are likely to be more sustainable than the soil samples required for preparation of greenhouse column have been collected and analyzed forconventional irrigated field crop production. These review results are being documented, and testing baseline soil properties. Since column size is big (14˝dia x 30˝depth), column preparation has takenof salt tolerance for some biofuel crops is projected. more time than expected. Soil columns have been seeded with ‘Alamo’ cultivar of switchgrass,
and currently researchers are trying to establish sufficient plant stand. Salinity treatments will be Leinauer, B., Serena, M., Schiavon, M., & Sevostianova, E. (2009). Bermudagrass performance in the Southwest. 2008 progressimposed during the 2010 irrigation season, and treatments will be evaluated for two more years. The report to National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, New Mexico State University Agricultural Experiment Station, Rio Granderesults of this project can help to use about 45,000 acre-feet per year of treated urban wastewater Basin Initiative, Water Resources Research Institute, Barenbrug Inc., Pure Seed Testing Inc., and Seeds West Inc.to irrigate agricultural crops, including bioenergy crops. Reuse of urban wastewater has several Leinauer, B., Serena, M., Schiavon, M., & Sevostianova, E. (2009). Kentucky bluegrass performance in the Southwest. 2008potential benefits, such as extending the use of existing freshwater supplies; using nonpotable water progress report to National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, New Mexico State University Agricultural Experiment Station, Riofor growing food, fiber, fodder, and bioenergy feedstocks; and improving farm income. Recently Grande Basin Initiative, Water Resources Research Institute, Barenbrug Inc., and Pure Seed Testing Inc.researchers received additional support from El Paso Water Utilities, and this has helped in leveraging Leinauer, B., Serena, M., Schiavon, M., & Sevostianova, E. (2009). Seashore paspalum performance in the Southwest. 2008project resources from non-National Institute of Food and Agriculture funds. progress report to National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, New Mexico State University Agricultural Experiment Station, Rio Grande Basin Initiative, Water Resources Research Institute, Scotts Co., Seed Research Inc., and Environmental Turf.Turf scientist examines effects of saline water in the semiarid SouthwestResearch to determine whether salt levels in the soil can reach intolerable levels during long-term use Leinauer, B., Serena, M., Schiavon, M., & E. Sevostianova. (2009). Tall fescue performance in the Southwest under saline andof saline water even when appropriate salt-tolerant grasses are used will examine the changes in soil potable irrigation. 2008 progress report to National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, New Mexico State University Agricultural Experiment Station, Rio Grande Basin Initiative, Water Resources Research Institute, Barenbrug Inc., and Pure Seed Testingsalinity below the turfgrass root zone to evaluate the potential impact of irrigating with saline water. Inc.Information from this project will help municipalities and developers plant appropriate grasses incombination with the use of impaired waters for irrigation, allowing a substantial savings of potable Leinauer, B., Serena, M., Schiavon, M., & Sevostianova, E. (2009). Zoysiagrass performance in the Southwest. 2008 progresswater. In addition, this research will determine whether the desert Southwest (USDA climate zone report to National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, New Mexico State University Agricultural Experiment Station, Rio Grande8a) has a sufficiently long growing season to successfully establish and sustain varieties of warm Basin Initiative, Water Resources Research Institute, and Turf Ecosystems.season turfgrasses (bermudagrass, seashore paspalum, and zoysiagrass) and cool season turfgrasses Miyamoto, S. (2009). Suitability of concentrate for irrigation. In Membrane treatment of impaired irrigation return and other(alkaligrass, tall fescue, hybrid bluegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass) when exposed to multiple flows for creating sources of high quality water (Chapter 4). Final report to the American Water Works Association and U.S.environmental stresses such as salt, heat and cold. Bureau of Reclamation. Miyamoto, S., Niu, G., & Martinez, I. (in press). Salinity and specific ions on onion establishment in relation to concentratePolicies, institutions and procedures for water reuse to be developed disposal. Desalination and Water Treatment.This project will use a policy analysis matrix (PAM) to design a well-understood framework forpolicy that can be used by decision makers and interest groups to predict the consequences of policy Niu, G., Rodriguez, D. S., Crosby, K., Leskovar, D., & Jifon, J. (2009, July). Rapid screening for salt tolerance in specialtyactions and show the effects if no laws or regulations are created. In the arid, water-scarce region of peppers (paper presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science, St. Louis, MO).New Mexico there is a growing interest in the potential for water reuse to extend existing supplies HortScience, 44(4), 1020–1021.and mitigate drought shortage impacts. Communities and individuals have many unanswered Niu, G., Rodriguez, D. S., Leskovar, D., Jifon, J., & Crosby, K. (2009, July). Drought tolerance of specialty chile peppers (paperquestions about polices, institutions involved, legal and regulatory requirements, and procedures presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science, St. Louis, MO). HortScience, 44(4),governing water reuse. The water reuse PAM will identify the legal ability to reuse water, ownership 1021–1022. rof water rights, downstream or third party impacts, regulatory and procedural requirements, waterquality concerns, state and local agency involvement, and cost-effectiveness of water reuse comparedto alternative sources. This project will use the PAM on three scenarios: aquifer recovery and storage,agricultural production, and recreation (golf courses). These scenarios will identify everyone involvedin water reuse policy and provide clarity for evaluating and making sound policy decisions.PublicationsAcosta, E., Rodriguez, D. S., & Niu, G. (2009, November). Drought tolerance of chile pepper seedlings. Paper presented at the2009 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, Phoenix, AZ.Ganjegunte, G. K., Braun, R., Sheng, Z., & Liu, Y. (2009, November). Evaluating effects of anionic, cationic and non-ionicpolymers on salinity of fine texture cotton soils in the Far West Texas [Abstract, CD-ROM]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA-GSA 2009International Annual Meetings Abstracts. 68 69Ganjegunte, G. K., Braun, R. J., Wu, Y., & Muir, J. (2009, November). Evaluating the feasibility of treated urban wastewater(type II) irrigation for bioenergy crop production in the Far West Texas [Abstract, CD-ROM]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA 2009International Annual Meetings Abstracts.Leinauer, B., Serena, M., & Schiavon, M. (2009). Comparing spring and summer establishment of bermudagrass seed and sodunder two irrigation systems using saline water. Report to the Lawn Institute.
09 Task 8 Research10 Basinwide Hydrology, Salinity Modeling Acequia research demonstrates irrigation effects on surface and Technology water–groundwater interactions This project demonstrates the synthesis of surface water and groundwater hydrology using valuable field data on traditional acequia irrigation systems, using data to populate, Enhanced tools for conjunctive management of regional surface water calibrate and validate GSFLOW, a model and groundwater released in March 2008 by the U.S. Geological In collaboration with New Mexico State University scientists, AgriLife researchers continued to Survey and HYDRUS. These show the effects develop tools for conjunctive management of regional water resources. Hydrological data, GIS of acequia irrigation systems on water supplies (geographic information systems) information, hydrologic framework, and models for the Mesilla in the Rio Grande Basin. Information from Basin Aquifer as well as the Rio Grande have been further evaluated to identify data gaps for future these models demonstrates that on average, of model development. Based on evaluation, protocols have been developed for potential linkage total water diverted as main canal inflow, 12 between the surface water model and groundwater model as well as their future development. The percent is canal seepage, 10 percent diversion from turnouts for flow control, and 40 percent return RiverWare model has been upgraded to simulate river flow within the Rio Grande project with to the river as canal outflow; only 38 percent of the total water diverted was used for irrigation a refinement in the Rincon Valley as a pilot test to use groundwater storage objects to assess the purposes. Field-measurement-based results are being used to parameterize different components of interactions of surface water and groundwater. In addition to its use in flood control planning, the the water budget in the Alcalde irrigated valley. Interactions between surface water and groundwater model has been expanded to assess operation planning and conjunctive management strategies under have important implications for water management in the semiarid Western states. Understanding a new operation agreement between Elephant Butte Irrigation District and El Paso County Water groundwater flow paths is an important step and benefit in understanding not only flow direction Conservation District No. 1. A hydrological model was developed to assess the impacts of flood and recharge, but also the chemical interactions of groundwater and surface water. runoff in a subwatershed and the potential for water conservation using low-impact development techniques, such as rainwater harvesting and infiltration of runoff for groundwater recharge. Federal Model assesses evapotranspiration, crop coefficients, economic agencies, irrigation districts and water utilities are expected to use those tools to develop guidelines productivity and depletion and optimize water operations, planning and management. This project uses the Regional Evapotranspiration (ET) Estimation Model, or REEM, which was developed from a previous Rio Grande Basin Initiative project, extending the application of REEM Model to estimate daily evaporation losses in development to all major crops produced in New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley. REEM will provide the most accurate Scientists at New Mexico State University are developing a more accurate method for estimating estimates available for field-level, broad-scale consumptive crop water use and depletion as well as evaporation losses from the Elephant Butte Reservoir. The atmospheric model WRF (Weather monthly crop coefficients for all major crops. During 2009 this project used crop survey information Research and Forecasting) has been tested and is running at 1 km spatial resolution with hourly from the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (OSE) in the REEM model. A field-scale crop output. The model output has been analyzed and compared with measured meteorological data from coefficient for every crop in the Lower Rio Grande was developed for the years 2000 and 2008, the local research sites. Scientists are currently consulting with the National Center for Atmospheric two years for which crop surveys were available. Crops surveyed included cotton, corn and chile in Research concerning idiosyncrasies of the model output. Sensors are located at the Elephant Butte the valley for 2009. Cooperation between OSE has been developed to exchange survey data. Field Reservoir offshore site and at the Caballo Reservoir. Data from a flux tower on latent heat, sensible diversion data and OSE pumping records for the Elephant Butte Irrigation District were obtained heat, and net radiation as well as weather data for 2008 and 2009. Information will calculate the on-farm efficiency for various crops. The results of from research stations located near the Elephant this research will provide previously unavailable data and detailed information on crop consumptive Butte and Caballo reservoirs show preliminary use, crop coefficients, and water resource tradeoffs in an area experiencing rapid population and measurements of monthly total evaporation economic growth as well as increasing competition for scarce water resources. at the Elephant Butte Reservoir to range from 54 mm per day to 150 mm; evaporation at the Caballo Reservoir ranged from 25 mm Publications (in January) to 138 mm. The benefit of the 70 Bawazir, A. S., Samani, Z., Bleiweiss, M., Skaggs, R., & Schmugge, T. (2009, November). Using ASTER satellite data to operational model is to estimate evaporation 71 calculate riparian evapotranspiration in the Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 30 losses for the entire reservoir on a near real-time (21–22), 5593–5603. basis. This will allow decision makers to manage the reservoir water storage for a more efficient Estrada-Lopez, M. (2009, May). Measurement of evapotranspiration using eddy covariance technique from Caballo Lake, hydroelectric power production and assess the New Mexico, and surrounding areas. Graduate thesis. water budget requirements for agricultural Fernald, A. (2009). Mitigation of climate change impacts by hydrologic and cultural components of traditional acequia irrigation and other uses in the Lower Rio irrigation systems [Abstract]. Eos Trans. AGU, 90(52). Grande Basin.
09 Rio Grande Basin InitiativeMoreno, J. (2010, May). Investigation of turbulent energy exchange above Elephant Butte Reservoir. Graduate dissertation.Moreno, J., Tran, D. T., Samani, Z., Estrada-Lopez, M., Silva, J., Woo, T., & Solis, J. (2009). Coupling atmospheric modeling 10 Administrative Contactswith mass-transfer for operational, real-time estimation of Elephant Butte Reservoir evaporation. Elephant Butte ReservoirProject.Ochoa, C., Fernald, A., & Guldan, S. (2009). Characterizing water flows in irrigated valleys of northern New Mexico[Abstract]. Eos Trans. AGU, 90(52).Ochoa, C. G., Fernald, A. G., & Guldan, S. J. (2010, February). Application of RZWQM for hydrological modeling in the Texas AgriLife Research and Texas AgriLife Extension ServiceAlcalde irrigated valley in northern New Mexico. In M. K. Shukla (Ed.), Soil hydrology, land use and agriculture: Measurementand modeling. Texas Water Resources InstituteOchoa, C. G., Fernald, A. G., Guldan, S. J., & Shukla, M. K. (2009). Field data analysis and simulation of water transport 1500 Research Parkway, Suite A240through a shallow vadose zone [Abstract #201-6]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA 2009 International Annual Meetings Abstracts. TAMU 2118 College Station, TX 77843-2118Ochoa, C. G., Fernald, A. G., Guldan, S. J., & Shukla, M. K. (2009). Field measurements and simulation of deep percolation in riogrande.tamu.edutwo different soils [Abstract #203-5]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA 2009 International Annual Meetings Abstracts.Ochoa, C. G., Fernald, A. G., Guldan, S. J., & Shukla, M. K. (2009). Water movement through a shallow vadose zone: A field • B. L. Harris firstname.lastname@example.org 979.845.1851irrigation experiment. Vadose Zone Journal, 8, 414–425. • Danielle Supercinski email@example.comOchoa, C. G., Fernald, A. G., Guldan, S., Tidwell, V., King, P., Cevik, Y., & Cusack, C. (2009). Hydrologic functions of a • Jaclyn Tech firstname.lastname@example.org rangeland riparian area [Abstract]. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Society for Range Management, • Kevin Wagner email@example.comAlbuquerque, NM. • Sarah Seidel firstname.lastname@example.org • Rosemary Payton email@example.comSamani, Z., Bawazir, A. S., Bleiweiss, M., Skaggs, R., Longworth, J., Tran, V. D., & Piñon, A. (2009). Using remote sensing toevaluate the spatial variability of evapotranspiration and crop coefficient in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico [DOI10.1007/s00271-009-0178-8]. Irrigation Science.Samani, Z., Bawazir, A. S., Bleiweiss, M., Skaggs, R., Piñon, A., & Tran, V. D. (2009, December). A simple irigation schedulingapproach for pecan irrigation. Proceedings of the Irrigation Association’s 2009 Innovations in Irrigation Conference, San New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension ServiceAntonio, TX.Sheng, Z. (2009, November). Development of coordinated water resources database and flow model along the MX-US border New Mexico State Universityin Paso del Norte Watershed. Presentation at the “Land, Water, People” Joint Conference sponsored by the River Systems P.O. Box 30003 - MSC 3AEInstitute, the Texas Riparian Association, and the Texas Water Resources Institute, San Marcos, TX. Las Cruces, NM 80003 riogrande.nmsu.eduSheng, Z., Ackerman, P., Kyger, N., & Koepke, C. (2009, August). Simulation of impacts of 2006 flood at Americas 10 Basin inEl Paso Texas [Abstract, poster]. New Mexico Water Research Symposium, Socorro, NM (Proceedings, E-34). • Craig Runyan firstname.lastname@example.org 575.646.1131Tillery, S., Sheng, Z., King, J. P., Creel, B., Brown, C., Michelsen, A., Srinivasan, R., & Granados, A. (2009, November). The • Leeann DeMouche email@example.com 575.646.3973development of a coordinated database for water resources and flow model in the Paso Del Norte Watershed (Phase III). New • John Mexal firstname.lastname@example.org 575.646.3335Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (TR-348) and Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M System (TR-359).Tillery, S., Sheng, Z., King, J. P., & Herrera, E. (2009, May). Simulation of surface water and groundwater interactionusing RiverWare groundwater objects [Abstract, presentation]. Proceedings of World Environmental and Water ResourcesConference, ASCE, Kansas City, MO. r 72 73