Population growth and urban water demands in the basin are expected to double in the next 50 years.
The Basin’s agricultural crop industry, comprised principally of cotton, grain sorghum, grapefruit, chilies, pecans, citrus, sugarcane, and vegetables, has an economic impact of more than $1 billion annually. By investing in research for practice development and education to facilitate implementation of improvements in irrigation conveyance systems and efficient on-farm water use, both urban and agricultural interests can benefit from increased water availability and resulting economic enhancements.
A team of Experiment Station researchers, Extension specialists and county agents in Texas and New Mexico are working with local irrigation districts, agricultural producers, cities, homeowners and other agencies to address water issues through the federally funded Rio Grande Basin Initiative. The initiative focuses on increasing available water through efficient irrigation and water conservation. The project is administered by the Texas Water Resources Institute in collaboration with New Mexico State University.