Diversifying the Water Portfolio for Agriculture in the Rio Grande Basin
The Rio Grande extends 1,900 miles from Southern Colorado through New Mexico and Texas to the Gulf of Mexico and is the fourth longest U.S. river. It is listed, however, as one of the world’s most endangered rivers. The Rio Grande Basin’s water resources, plus the societies, economies, species and ecosystems that depend on them, are seriously threatened by drought, climate change and rapid population growth.
The Diversifying the Water Portfolio for Agriculture in the Rio Grande Basin, a Coordinated Agriculture Project (CAP), seeks to explore various water management strategies by evaluating the use of alternative technologies, such as treated wastewater and desalination, and improved crop mixes and agricultural practices, to identify the most efficient and cost-effective use of water.
The long-term goal of this effort is to understand how the use of all available water resources can be optimized to provide the greatest societal return within the basin to help sustain agricultural production while enhancing regional water use efficacy, economic and employment opportunities, plus improving ecosystem services.