Friday, March 3, 2017

NMSU Grad Student Studying Economic Impact of Water Conservation, Storage Capacity Development

NMSU Grad Student Studying Economic Impact of Water Conservation, Storage Capacity Development, and Crop Diversity in the Tucumcari Project of East-Central New Mexico by Catherine Ortega Klett, NM WRRI Program Manager The Tucumcari Project surrounding the city of Tucumcari, NM, includes about 41,000 acres of irrigable land. Principal features include the Conchas Dam and Reservoir, built on the South Canadian River, plus the Conchas and Hudson Canals, and associated distribution and drainage systems. This water storage and distribution facility constitutes an irrigation district named after Mr. Arch Hurley, who lobbied for its creation in the 1930s. For over half a century, the Arch Hurley Conservancy District (AHCD) has used the approximately 40 miles of main canal and 350 miles of smaller ditches and laterals constructed as part of the Tucumcari Project to deliver water, on average, to almost 700 different parcels of irrigated lands. And for just as long it has been recognized that there are significant water losses in the system, due to such realities as evaporation, canal seepage, and evapotranspiration by canal bank vegetation. Befekadu Habteyes, a PhD student in the NMSU Department of Ag Economics and Ag Business and in the Water Science Management Program, in collaboration with his faculty advisor, Dr. Frank Ward, is conducting a field survey and economic modeling analysis of the AHCD, taking into account the possible effects of different crop choices and of water conservation and storage policies. Read more

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