Monday, October 9, 2017

Optimizing Water Use to Sustain Food Systems

Optimizing Water Use to Sustain Food Systems Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project Website The challenges faced by Ogallala aquifer region producers are not confined by state lines. Neither are the solutions. Water. Whether it falls from the sky or is pumped from the Ogallala aquifer, is of central importance to the High Plains economy and way of life. Groundwater pumped from the Ogallala aquifer (the principal formation of the High Plains aquifer system) has transformed the region from a Dustbowl to an agricultural powerhouse. More than 30% of U.S. crops and livestock are produced in this region, significantly impacting domestic and international food supplies…The Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project, a multi-disciplinary collaborative effort funded by USDA-NIFA, is focused on developing and sharing practical, science-supported information relevant to best management practices for optimizing water use across the Ogallala region. MORE: http://ogallalawater.org/

Meeting informs public about water application El Defensor Chieftain

Meeting informs public about water application El Defensor Chieftain By John Larson ...One question caught the co-facilitators off guard. “If this application from a multi-national company is approved, could [they] sell it to another multi-national company, say from Russia?” Besides questions, Myers read comments from the cards submitted. “This water appropriation should not happen...ranchers have senior water rights,” Socorro County rancher Randell Major commented. “This mining application has been unable to prove their pumping will not harm existing water rights. This has been going on for ten years and should be put to an end now.” More at; http://www.dchieftain.com/news/meeting-informs-public-about-water-application/article_12e769be-a946-11e7-9b0d-77c54c89c6b6.html

Friday, October 6, 2017

White sands Millitay and ranches

White sands Millitay and ranches LAS CRUCES - The dramatic history and transformation of White Sands Missile Range is the subject of this month’s Culture Series at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. “The Range: From Livestock to Missiles,” is set for 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the museum’s theater. The focus is ranching in the Tularosa Basin and in the San Andres and Oscura mountain ranges and how the ranchers lost their land to America's military needs. The speaker is Jim Eckles, who spent 30 years working in the public affairs office at the missile range. Admission to the presentation is free. During his time on the range, Eckles saw the Space Shuttle Columbia land, followed the Noss treasure hunters into Victorio Peak, escorted dozens of ranch families to visit their old homes, experienced many ear-splitting explosions and missile launches, and has been to Trinity Site probably more than any other human being. Eckles grew up in Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska. He majored in psychology and English literature, and a master's degree followed at the University of Washington. Eckles, who is on the White Sands Missile Range Historical Foundation board of directors, has published three books: "Pocketful of Rockets," "Trinity: The History of An Atomic Bomb National Landmark," and "Deming New Mexico's Camp Cody: A World War One Training Camp."

Are you interested in New Mexico’s Water Future?

Are you interested in New Mexico’s Water Future? Save the dates of December 13th-14th for an important town hall on the 2018 State Water Plan. As many of you know, the state water plan sets the policy agenda for water use in New Mexico. This upcoming town hall deliberation provides the primary opportunity for the public to develop policy priorities for the plan. The town hall will take place in Albuquerque. Registration will open by November 2017.

Happy National 4-H Week

Friday, October 6, 2017 Happy National 4-H Week Opportunity to Share Your Thoughts on Positive Youth Development and other NIFA Supported Programs USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Needs Stakeholder Input on Food, Agriculture Priorities The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting input from stakeholders regarding research, extension, and education priorities in food and agriculture. A series of four in-person listening sessions hosted in different regions across the country and submission of written comments will offer two ways to share your thoughts and ideas. Stakeholder input received from both methods will be treated equally. NIFA Listens: Investing in Science to Transform Lives” focuses on answering to two questions from stakeholders: • What is your top priority in food and agricultural research, extension, or education that NIFA should address? • What are the most promising science opportunities for advancement of food and agricultural sciences? NIFA wants to hear from you about priorities and opportunities in agricultural sciences. This will help NIFA prioritize science emphasis areas, identify gaps in programming, and determine which programs are redundant or underperforming. To contribute your ideas online and to register for in-person listening sessions, fill out our input form. You have the option to give a five minute oral presentation and submit written content; however, it is not required to do both. • Individuals wishing to attend in-person listening sessions must complete the RSVP in the input form no later than Thursday, October 12, 2017. If you are making a five minute oral presentation, you must submit a short 250 word abstract describing your topic. • Submissions of written comments will be accepted through Friday, December 1, 2017. The input form is one opportunity to share written comments. Please take time to consider and clearly form your answers to the questions above before filling out the form. You will be allowed 600 words for each question. You may also submit written comments via NIFAlistens@nifa.usda.gov. Four regional in-person listening sessions will be held: • Thursday, Oct. 19, Kansas City, Missouri • Thursday, Oct. 26, Atlanta, Georgia • Thursday, Nov. 2, Sacramento, California • Wednesday, Nov. 8, Hyattsville, Maryland Each session is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. and end no later than 5 p.m. The sessions will be webcast live, transcribed, and made available for playback. All submissions, regardless of the mode, are processed in the same manner. Additional details, including livestream information, will be added as they become available. To stay informed on “NIFA Listens: Investing in Science to Transform Lives,” sign up for the NIFA Update, a weekly compendium of news and information that may be of interest to land-grant and non-land-grant universities, NIFA stakeholders, and other subscribers.

White sands Millitay and ranches

LAS CRUCES - The dramatic history and transformation of White Sands Missile Range is the subject of this month’s Culture Series at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. “The Range: From Livestock to Missiles,” is set for 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the museum’s theater. The focus is ranching in the Tularosa Basin and in the San Andres and Oscura mountain ranges and how the ranchers lost their land to America's military needs. The speaker is Jim Eckles, who spent 30 years working in the public affairs office at the missile range. Admission to the presentation is free. During his time on the range, Eckles saw the Space Shuttle Columbia land, followed the Noss treasure hunters into Victorio Peak, escorted dozens of ranch families to visit their old homes, experienced many ear-splitting explosions and missile launches, and has been to Trinity Site probably more than any other human being. Eckles grew up in Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska. He majored in psychology and English literature, and a master's degree followed at the University of Washington. Eckles, who is on the White Sands Missile Range Historical Foundation board of directors, has published three books: "Pocketful of Rockets," "Trinity: The History of An Atomic Bomb National Landmark," and "Deming New Mexico's Camp Cody: A World War One Training Camp."

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

“Wetlands Across Borders Workshop – Playas of the Southern High Plains

We have to change the dates for the “Wetlands Across Borders Workshop – Playas of the Southern High Plains.” Instead of starting on October 31 and running through November 3, 2017, the new dates are Tuesday, December 12 through Friday December 15. It is still at the Clovis Community College, in Clovis, New Mexico but starting Tuesday December 12 through Friday December 15, 2017. The meeting will consist of one and one half days of presentations and panel discussions about playa ecology, conservation, restoration and other important topics about playas. The meeting will be followed by three track options – New Mexico Rapid Assessment Method Training for Playa Wetlands, a Playas and Roads workshop, or a half-day field trip to look at local playas. We will be sending out more information, a draft agenda, and an invitation to sign up for the meeting and the track options soon. If you would like to be a presenter or bring a poster to the event, please let me know as the agenda will fill up fast. There is no cost to attend but for planning purposes and limited seating for the track options, you will have to register on-line through Evite as soon as we have it available. Note that Wetlands Across Borders Meetings are for participants from neighboring states as well as New Mexico. We will be reaching out to Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado as well. If you know of anyone interested in playas, please pass on this information. Let me know if you have questions. Also, I want to thank those that attended the New Mexico Rapid Assessment Method Training for Playa Wetlands, conducted last week in Clovis New Mexico on September 27 through September 29, 2017. We appreciated your participation and helpful comments during the training. We got to experience playa wetlands first hand since two out of the three playas that we visited were inundated and it rained on day one and day two. Ducks were there enjoying the ponds and wetland vegetation. If you missed this opportunity, we will be providing the training again during the Wetlands Across Borders Workshop in December. Be there or be square! Thank you, Maryann

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

In Las Cruces at NMSU Jesus D. Gomez-Velez Assistant Professor of Hydrology Dept. of Earth & Environmental Science New Mexico Tech Phone: 575-835-5045 jesus.gomezvelez@nmt.edu https://gomezvelezlab.com The talk will be at September 27, 3:30am-4:30pm in Gerald Thomas Hall Room-336. The title of the talk will be “Leaky Pipes Everywhere! Understanding Connectivity Along River Corridors”

Why Does the Colorado River Need to Sue For Rights?

https://sandiegofreepress.org/2017/09/why-does-the-colorado-river-need-to-sue-for-rights/ San Diego Free Press By Will Falk On Tuesday, September 26, the Colorado River will sue the State of Colorado in a first-in-the-nation lawsuit requesting that the United States District Court in Denver recognize the river’s rights of nature. These rights include the rights to exist, flourish, regenerate, and naturally evolve. To enforce these rights, the Colorado River will also request that the court grant the river “personhood” and standing to sue in American courts…Because our legal system currently defines nature as property, “resourcism” is institutionalized in American law. While climate change worsens, water continues to be polluted, and the collapse of every major ecosystem on the continent intensifies, we must conclude that our system of law fails to protect the natural world and fails to protect the human and nonhuman communities who depend on it. Jensen, while diagnosing widespread ecocide, observes a fundamental psychological principle: “We act according to the way we experience the world. We experience the world according to how we perceive it. We perceive it the way we have been taught.” Jensen quotes a Canadian lumberman who once said, “When I look at trees I see dollar bills.” The lumberman’s words represent the dominant culture’s view of the natural world. Jensen explains the psychology of this objectification, “If, when you look at trees you see dollar bills, you will act a certain way. If, when you look at trees, you see trees you will act a different way. If, when you look at this tree right here you see this tree right here, you will act differently still.” Law shapes our experience of the world. Currently, law teaches that nature is property, an object, or a resource to use. This entrenches a worldview that encourages environmental destruction. In other words, when law teaches us to see the Colorado River as dollar bills, as simple gallons of water, as an abstract percentage to be allocated, it is no wonder that corporations like Nestle can gain the right to run plastic bottling operations that drain anywhere from 250 million to 510 million gallons of Colorado River water per year. The American legal system can take a good step toward protecting us all – human and nonhuman alike – by granting ecosystems like the Colorado River rights and allowing communities to sue on these ecosystems’ behalf. When standing is recognized on behalf of ecosystems themselves, environmental law will reflect a conception of legal “causation” that is more friendly to the natural world than it is to the corporations destroying the natural world. At a time when the effects of technology are outpacing science’s capacity to research these effects, injured individuals and communities often have difficulty proving that corporate actions are the cause of their injuries. When ecosystems, like the Colorado River, are granted the rights to exist, flourish, regenerate, and naturally evolve, the obsolete causation theory, en vogue, will be corrected. ************ American history is haunted by notorious failures to afford rights to those who always deserved them. Americans will forever shudder, for example, at Chief Justice Roger Taney’s words, when the Supreme Court, in 1857, ruled persons of African descent cannot be, nor were never intended to be, citizens under the Constitution in Dred Scott v. Sanford. Justice Taney wrote of African Americans, “They had for more than a century before been regarded as being of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race … and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect…” And, of course, without rights that white, slave-owning men were bound to respect, the horrors of slavery continued. The most hopeful moments in American history, on the other hand, have occurred when the oppressed have demanded and were granted their rights in American courts. Despite centuries of treating African Americans as less than human while defining them as property, our system of law now gives the same rights to African Americans that American citizens have always enjoyed. Once property, African Americans are now persons under the law. Similarly, despite a centuries-old tradition where women were, in the legal sense, owned by men, our system of law now gives the same rights to women that American citizens have always enjoyed. Once property, women are now a person under the law. It’s tempting to describe this history as “inevitable progress” or as “the legal system correcting itself” or with some other congratulatory language. But, this glosses over the violent struggles it took for rights to be won. The truth is, and we see this clearly in Justice Taney’s words, the American legal system resisted justice until change was forced upon it. It took four centuries of genocide and the nation’s bloodiest civil war before our system of law recognized the rights of African Americans. While the courts resisted, African Americans were enslaved, exploited, and killed. Right now, the natural world is struggling violently for its survival. We watch hurricanes, exacerbated by human-induced climate change, rock coastal communities. We choke through wildfires, also exacerbated by human-induced climate change, sweeping across the West. We feel the Colorado River’s thirst as overdraw and drought dries it up. It is the time that American law stop resisting. Our system of law must change to reflect ecological reality. ************ Colorado River between Marble Canyon (Source: Alex Proimos/Flickr/CC-BY-NC-2.0) This is ecological reality: all life depends on clean water, breathable air, healthy soil, a habitable climate, and complex relationships formed by living creatures in natural communities. Water is life and in the arid American Southwest, no natural community is more responsible for the facilitation of life than the Colorado River. Because so much life depends on her, the needs of the Colorado River are primary. Social morality must emerge from a humble understanding of this reality. Law is integral to any society’s morality, so law must emerge from this understanding, too. Human language lacks the complexity to adequately describe the Colorado River and any attempt to account for the sheer amount of life she supports will necessarily be arbitrary. Nevertheless, many creatures of feather, fin, and fur rely on the Colorado River. Iconic, and endangered or threatened, birds like the bald eagle, greater sage grouse, Gunnison sage grouse, peregrine falcon, yellow-billed cuckoo, summer tanager, and southwestern willow flycatcher make their homes in the Colorado River watershed.  Fourteen endemic fish species swim the river’s currents including four fish that are now endangered: the humpback chub, Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, and bonytail. Many of the West’s most recognizable mammals depend on the Colorado River for water and to sustain adequate food sources. Gray wolves, grizzly bear, black bear, mountain lions, coyotes, and lynx walk the river’s banks. Elk, mule deer, and bighorn sheep live in her forests. Beavers, river otters, and muskrats live directly in the river’s flow as well as in streams and creeks throughout the Colorado River basin. The Colorado River provides water for close to 40 million people and irrigates nearly 4 million acres of American and Mexican cropland. Agriculture uses the vast majority of the river’s water. In 2012, 78% of the Colorado’s water was used for agriculture alone. 45% of the water is diverted from the Colorado River basin which spells disaster for basin ecosystems. Major cities that rely on these trans-basin diversions include Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Salt Lake City. Despite the Colorado River’s importance to life, she is being destroyed. Before the construction of dams and large-scale diversion, the Colorado flowed 1,450 miles into the Pacific Ocean near Sonora, Mexico. The river’s life story is an epic saga of strength, determination, and the will to deliver her waters to the communities who need them. Across those 1,450 miles, she softened mountainsides, carved through red rock, and braved the deserts who sought to exhaust her. Now, however, the Colorado River suffers under a set of laws, court decrees, and multi-state compacts that are collectively known as the “Law of the River.” The Law of the River allows humans to take more water from the river than actually exists. Granting the river the rights we seek for her would help the courts revise problematic laws. The regulations set forth in the 1922 Colorado River Compact are the most important and, perhaps, the most problematic. Seven states (Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming) are allotted water under the Compact. When the Compact was enacted, the parties assumed that the river’s flow would remain at a reliable 17 million acre-feet of water per year and divided the water using a 15-million acre feet per year standard. But, hydrologists now know 17 million acre-feet represented an unusually high flow and was a mistake. Records show that the Colorado River’s flow was only 9 million acre-feet in 1902, for example. From 2000-2016, the river’s flow only averaged 12.4 million acre-feet per year. So, for the last 16 years, the Compact states have been legally allowed to use water that isn’t there.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Aamodt Settlement Act Signed into Law by Interior Secretary Zinke

Aamodt Settlement Act Signed into Law by Interior Secretary Zinke by lajicarita By KAY MATTHEWS On September 15 Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took a few minutes out of his attack on our national monuments to announce in the Federal Register that all conditions of the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act have been met and it is officially a done deal. This adjudication determines both ground and surface water rights of the four Pojoaque Basin pueblos, Nambe, Tesuque, San Ildefonso, and Pojoaque, and all non-pueblo residents. As I’ve laid out in previous La Jicarita articles, these conditions stipulate that 1) the necessary water supply that must be delivered to the Pueblos via the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System—2,381 afy—has been permitted by the State Engineer; and 2) “The State has enacted necessary legislation and has provided funding as required under the Settlement Agreement.” As I’ve also laid out in previous La Jicarita articles, Taos County has filed an appeal of its protest of the Top of the World water transfer that supplies part of that water to the Pueblos. And the County of Santa Fe passed a resolution in 2015 stating that it will not appropriate its share of the $261 necessary to fund the Regional Water System “until the legal status of County Roads running through the Settling Pueblos has been resolved.” San Ildefonso Pueblo is claiming that county roads that cross through its “external boundaries” belong to the pueblo and is seeking easement payments. The county claims that it has rights of way on all the roads in question. There has been no resolution of this controversy that has pitted the Pueblos against the non-Pueblo residents of the affected county lands. Dave Neal, an officer of the Northern New Mexicans Protecting Land, Water, and Rights (NNMProtects), a group of Valley residents who have fought both the Aamodt Settlement and to resolve the road easement issue, told La Jicarita that Zinke has extended the deadline for this road resolution from September 15 to November 15, but that the county remains determined that no funds will be released until county residents are assured easements. Even with this extension, could this mean that the Settlement may actually come up short on its requisite water supply and funding and fail to be implemented (the State also failed to pass a required $9 appropriation in last year’s legislative session)? Another possible roadblock would be the failure to complete the Regional Water System by 2024, the deadline stipulated for completion in the Settlement Act. None of this seems to bother the powers that be behind this 51 year old adjudication who have pushed this controversial project through the legal process with little regard for fairness, cost, burdensome bureaucracy, the abrogation of the transfer protest process, the cumulative impacts of moving paper water from basin to basin, dipping one more straw into the Rio Grande, and most importantly, the changing nature of our environment and climate that could easily render water supply inadequate or even nonexistent. The legal process does allow for a challenge to the Final Decree, which is being mounted by many of the 300 plus non-Pueblo Pojoaque Valley residents who objected to the terms of the settlement but whose objections were dismissed by the court overseeing the adjudication. They have now filed a notice of appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, represented by Blair Dunn of the Western Agriculture, Resource and Business Advocates law firm. This will be an uphill battle considering the forces deployed against it. Just one last note about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. While questions should always be raised about how local communities are consulted when public lands are assigned certain restrictions, such as national monument designation, that’s not really what Zinke’s agenda is about. His aim is to aid and abet the movement within the Republican Party to privatize as many public lands as possible in order to turn them over to the extractive industry. As Outside Magazine reported on Zinke’s secret memo to Trump on his review of the monuments, which was leaked to the press, the GOP’s official platform states: “Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing for a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to states.” The American Lands Council, based in Utah, is spearheading the movement, which makes the Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments the most vulnerable. lajicarita | September 21, 2017 at 11:02 am | Tags: Aamodt Adjudication Settlement, American Lands Council, Bears Ears National Monument, Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, NNMProtects | Categories: Acequias, Climate Change, Groundwater, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, Private Property, Public Lands, Water Adjudication, water and acequias | URL: http://wp.me/p2bCkq-1JR

Monday, September 18, 2017

Texas vs. New Mexico water lawsuit now pending in the U.S. Supreme Court could take as long as another decade to be resolved

LAS CRUCES - The Texas vs. New Mexico water lawsuit now pending in the U.S. Supreme Court could take as long as another decade to be resolved, a consultant water attorney for the city said during a recent meeting. "It's going to be much longer than four years," Jim Brockmann said in response to a question posed by Las Cruces City Councilor Ceil Levatino. "It's very complex litigation. The state of New Mexico hasn't even filed counterclaims or cross claims. "If I was really going to take my best guess, I'd say closer to 10 years than to four." What's next? The litigation has pitted the state of Texas against New Mexico in a U.S. Supreme Court battle over groundwater use in southern New Mexico. The case has consumed the attention of major water users in the region, including cities, farmers and irrigation districts, many of whom could see ramifications from the eventual outcome. In particular, many are worried about a curtailment of water use that could result. In February, the Supreme Court agent who is overseeing the lawsuit declined a request by the state of New Mexico to throw out the case. Las Cruces city councilors also heard Monday from Assistant New Mexico Attorney General Tania Maestas, who gave an update on the litigation. She said there could be oral arguments related to the motion to dismiss, but if not, the case will proceed with New Mexico filing its formal response to the lawsuit and possibly making its own allegations, known as counter-claims. "This is when we actually get to state points that we feel are especially important to the citizens here and the water users here in New Mexico," she said. City-AG's office partnership The city, as a major groundwater user in Doña Ana County, is "very clearly aligned" with the New Mexico Attorney General's Office in the lawsuit, Brockmann said. The lawsuit boils down to control over groundwater in south-central New Mexico, he said. The city believes the state of New Mexico is the controlling authority. "So it's absolutely critical for us that we communicate and coordinate with the state Attorney General's Office to make sure that those groundwater rights that are administered under state law are protected under state law," he said. "And that is a primary position for the attorney general in that litigation." The Las Cruces-based Elephant Butte Irrigation District, which delivers river water to farmers throughout Doña Ana County, has opposed the state of New Mexico's position in lawsuit. Maestas said current Attorney General Hector Balderas has talked with EBID about their stance in the case, which hadn't been done previously. Also, EBID has started having technical-oriented discussions with a group of groundwater users known as the Lower Rio Grande Water Users Organization. That group has been carrying out work on the technical information that would be key to any settlement of the lawsuit. Brockmann said the water users group, which includes the city of Las Cruces, had been working not only because of the Supreme Court litigation but also because of an ongoing water adjudication case in state district court. That long-term proceeding will legally define water rights for water users throughout Doña Ana County. Origins The lawsuit arose out of 1938 Rio Grande Compact, which apportioned river water among three U.S. states, experts have said. New Mexico’s measuring point for delivering water to Texas was the Elephant Butte Reservoir — roughly 100 miles north of the actual Texas state line. The river water released from the reservoir serves farmers in the New Mexico-based Elephant Butte Irrigation District and the Texas-based El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, as well as in Mexico. Groundwater pumping in that same 100-mile stretch, however, has been the purview of the New Mexico State Engineer’s Office. The groundwater and river water systems are connected. Texas has argued that New Mexico has allowed over-pumping of groundwater, undermining El Paso irrigators’ share of river water. A 2010 agreement between EBID and the El Paso irrigation district attempted to resolve a longstanding dispute over apportioning water. Former New Mexico Attorney General Gary King challenged the agreement in federal district court, which onlookers said prompted Texas to file its lawsuit against New Mexico at the U.S. Supreme Court. EBID has continued to back the operating agreement of 2008. Diana Alba Soular may be reached at 575-541-5443, dalba@lcsun-news.com or @AlbaSoular on Twitter.

REQUEST FOR QUOTES TO CONDUCT WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT PLANNING

Surface Water Quality Bureau Our mission is to preserve, protect, and improve New Mexico's surface water quality for present and future generations. ________________________________________ REQUEST FOR QUOTES TO CONDUCT WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT PLANNING Purpose The Surface Water Quality Bureau (Bureau) of the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) requests quotes from regional public comprehensive planning organizations to conduct water quality management planning as defined under sections 205(j) and 303(e) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). These funds are made available through a Request for Quotes (RFQ) as this is the appropriate approach through the State of New Mexico Procurement Code given the duration and amount of an award. In response to this RFQ NMED seeks detailed quotes (i.e. proposals) to conduct water quality management planning. While all quotes focused on water quality management planning are welcomed, those which will fund activities that clearly address the State’s water quality goals to preserve, protect and improve the water quality in New Mexico are likely to be rated highest. In this respect, NMED encourages quotes focused on Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), Use Attainability Analyses (UAAs), or other water quality management planning activities that will directly address identified water quality impairments but do not overlap with development of watershed based plans that are eligible for funding through NMED’s 319(h) program. Funding for the work program is dependent on the receipt of federal grants authorized under Section 604(b) of the federal Clean Water Act. The New Mexico Environment Department anticipates having funds available for award in early 2018. Contact Person The contact person for this request for quotes is: Heidi Henderson, Monitoring, Assessment and Standards Section, Surface Water Quality Bureau, N.M. Environment Department, Harold Runnels Building - 1190 St. Francis Drive, N2109, P.O. Box 5469, Santa Fe, NM 87502. Telephone: 505-827-2901. E-mail Address: heidi.henderson@state.nm.us. A complete copy of the RFQ can be requested from the contact person or downloaded from the Bureau website: https://www.env.nm.gov/surface-water-quality/. All inquiries regarding the RFQ or its supporting documentation must be made to the contact person. Submission of Quotes Any questions regarding the RFQ must be submitted to Heidi Henderson by October 2, 2017. The Bureau will prepare a response to any questions received and will post the responses to the Bureau website for review by all offerors before the final submission of quotes is due. An original and three copies of the quote must be submitted by registered mail or delivered in person for review to the contact person at the above address by 4:30 PM, MDT on October 18, 2017. Electronically mailed quotes and hardcopy quotes received after this deadline will not be accepted. ________________________________________ NMED does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age or sex in the administration of its programs or activities, as required by applicable laws and regulations. NMED is responsible for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning non-discrimination requirements implemented by 40 C.F.R. Part 7, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 13 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. If you have any questions about this notice or any of NMED’s non-discrimination programs, policies or procedures, you may contact: Kristine Pintado, Non-Discrimination Coordinator New Mexico Environment Department 1190 St. Francis Dr., Suite N4050 P.O. Box 5469 Santa Fe, NM 87502 (505) 827-2855 nd.coordinator@state.nm.us If you believe that you have been discriminated against with respect to a NMED program or activity, you may contact the Non-Discrimination Coordinator identified above or visit our website at https://www.env.nm.gov/non-employee-discrimination-complaint-page/ to learn how and where to file a complaint of discrimination. ________________________________________ TMDL AND ASSESSMENT TEAM CONTACT: Heidi Henderson 505-827-2901 https://www.env.nm.gov/surface-water-quality/tmdl/

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Small Water System Partnership Workshop

Small Water System Partnership Workshop December 12, 2017 | Santa Fe, NM | 9:00AM-12:00PM Santa Fe Community College (Health Sciences Building Room 487) 6401 Richards Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87508 Register Online OR Download the Mail-In Registration Form CEUs: This workshop has been submitted to the state for CEUs. This workshop is complimentary. Please register to reserve your spot. Small systems face a variety of issues and concerns related to increasingly strict regulatory compliance, aging infrastructure, affordability, lack of economy of scale (it costs more to serve small communities than large ones on a per capita basis), decreasing population base, and many others. One strategy that can help small communities meet these challenges more economically is collaborating with other utilities. Learn more about formal and informal collaboration approaches including: sharing operators or bookkeepers, forming buying consortiums to purchase chemicals or equipment, sharing a water source, developing emergency interconnects, or forming a group to share information. Trainer: Heather Himmelberger, Director - Southwest Environmental Finance Center Contact: Francine Stefan, mfstefan@unm.edu Who Should Attend: This workshop is designed for water systems serving 10,000 or fewer people (though systems of any size may attend), especially targeting local government systems facing financial challenges. Owners of privately owned systems, consultants and technical assistance providers serving water systems are also invited to attend. Link to register on line is http://efcnetwork.org/events/new-mexico-small-water-system-partnership/

Monday, August 28, 2017

Udall, Heinrich Announce $3.4 Million for Restoration Projects in the Carson, Cibola, Gila, and Lincoln National Forests

Udall, Heinrich Announce $3.4 Million for Restoration Projects in the Carson, Cibola, Gila, and Lincoln National Forests WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced $3.4 million in funding from the U.S. Forest Service for restoration projects in four of New Mexico's national forests. The projects will aim to promote healthy watersheds, reduce the threat of wildfires, and improve the functioning of forest ecosystems by reducing the number and density of small diameter trees on public forest lands in New Mexico. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP) for ten projects in the Carson, Cibola, Gila, and Lincoln National Forests. "These projects will be instrumental in helping restore some of the most high priority areas in New Mexico's national forests," said Udall, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Agriculture. "With New Mexico facing more severe wildfires every year, it is imperative we focus on strategies to prevent future wildfires, increase the health of watersheds, and improve the overall forest ecosystems. I was proud to help secure funding that helps the U.S. Forest Service invest in the long-term health of New Mexico's forests." “Forests in New Mexico provide us with drinking water, space for traditional activities like hunting and fishing, and boost our outdoor recreation economy. This critical funding will help restore New Mexico’s forests and protect our communities from the threat of wildfires, provide support to promote healthy watersheds, and improve the forest ecosystem,” said Heinrich. “I will continue to work to ensure these restoration projects remain a priority.” Recipients of this year's grant money include private forest sector businesses, conservation organizations, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and the Pueblo of Santa Ana. Of the total funding, $955,651 will go toward three projects in the Carson National Forest, $1.76 million will go toward five projects in the Cibola National Forest, $315,119 will go toward one project in the Gila National Forest and $360,000 will go toward one project in the Lincoln National Forest. Projects by the CFRP conduct forest landscape restoration planning and analyses; develop products, markets and capacity for the utilization of small-diameter forest materials; conduct community outreach and youth education programs; and complete critical on-the-ground forest and watershed restoration activities.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How a California groundwater case could affect Nevada and the West The Nevada Independent By Daniel Rothberg

How a California groundwater case could affect Nevada and the West The Nevada Independent By Daniel Rothberg …The case looks to clarify what rights Native American tribes have to groundwater on reservations. In 1908, the Supreme Court said tribes possessed a federal right to surface water, but lower courts have since clashed over whether or not those rights extend to groundwater. …For nearly 100 years, courts have differed and danced around the issue of whether reservation rights include groundwater. But in March, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gave a definitive answer in the affirmative, extending groundwater rights to a California tribe in the Coachella Valley around Palm Springs. The three-judge panel said the federal government, in establishing reservations, had impliedly earmarked groundwater for tribal use. The court took the additional step of explicitly saying a tribe’s federal groundwater rights preempt state law. Tribes applauded the Ninth Circuit ruling in Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians vs. Coachella Valley Water District, et. al. And several attorneys who work on Native American resource issues said they expected to see a maelstrom of litigation as tribes act on the ruling. But the decision left many questions unanswered, and that uncertainty worries arid states where water is scarce. Where do the states’ water laws fit into the Ninth Circuit’s decision? That is the central question in the amicus brief from Laxalt on behalf of attorneys general in Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Authority over water traditionally belongs to the states. They decide how water is regulated and allocated. States are concerned that losing any control over management could further endanger aquifers that provide drinking water and often support ranching, mining and farming operations. New claims to unaccounted groundwater rights — rights that would preempt state law — could disrupt an already strained system, they argue. And the recent ruling might indirectly affect water rights on federal land that’s been reserved for national parks or military bases. Some have even argued it could affect the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s proposed pipeline project. The case history – May 2013: A Palm Springs-based tribe, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, sues two California water agencies to assert a priority right to groundwater. The tribe, with more than 400 members and 31,000 acres, criticizes how the public agencies have managed the aquifer and said they want to play a greater role in its governance. The two agencies publicly question its motives, suggesting there might be a financial incentive. – June 2014: The U.S. government joins the case and argues that the tribe’s priority rights — under what is known as the “reserved rights doctrine” — extend to groundwater. – March 2015: A district court judge rules that reserved rights include groundwater. – March 2017: The Ninth Circuit upholds the ruling. – July 2017: The agencies appeal to the Supreme Court. – August 2017: Nevada, with nine states, files a brief urging the Court to hear the case. About the reserved rights doctrine The basis for federal water rights stem from a 1908 Supreme Court case, Winters v. United States. In the Winters case, the court ruled that through establishing an Indian reservation, the federal government had impliedly allocated enough water necessary to fulfill the reservation’s purpose. In a 1963 Supreme Court case, these rights were applied to all public lands, including national monuments and wildlife refuges. The court has refined the doctrine since then, but it has never conclusively answered the question of whether reserved rights include groundwater. The Supreme Court hasn’t entirely avoided the issue. In a 1975 case involving the Death Valley National Monument, the court said that the U.S. government could protect groundwater on federal land from over-pumping. (In the case, pumping threatened the pupfish at Devils Hole.) The Ninth Circuit cited the case in its March opinion: “If the United States can protect against groundwater diversions, it follows that the government can protect the groundwater itself.” There were three significant findings in the appellate decision: 1) Tribes have a federal reserved right to groundwater on their land. 2) As federal water rights, they preempt conflicting state law. 3) The rights are not lost even if they haven’t been used in the past. What that means is up for interpretation. “It’s not clear what that would mean, for state law to be preempted,” said Leon Szeptycki, an attorney who leads a water policy group at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment. The potential impact on Nevada and other states Laxalt writes of “potentially devastating consequences” if the Supreme Court decides to let the Ninth Circuit decision stand. Giving preemption to federal rights could disrupt the state’s ability to manage water and impact economies that have relied on groundwater for years, he argues. Since almost all of Nevada’s groundwater is allocated or over-allocated, he argues that the “longstanding and settled appropriation regime will be disrupted by new, unaccounted-for federal reserved groundwater rights claims that are suddenly asserted for the first time.” The result is that the new claims could push out people who have already built communities or businesses around their water rights. “Existing groundwater users may lose their established right to use that water, or be subject to curtailment in the inevitable times of scarcity,” he wrote. Given that 85 percent of Nevada land is owned by the federal government, Laxalt said that the state includes a large portion of land where possible claims could be made. When the case was pending before the Ninth Circuit, two Nevada tribes signed onto a brief supporting the Agua Caliente tribe. The Agua Caliente case was also cited during a recent hearing on the water authority’s proposed pipeline, which would convey billions of gallons of groundwater to Las Vegas. A lawyer for the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation raised the Ninth Circuit ruling during a hearing on the 263-mile pipeline project that has been held up by several legal actions. Tribes could assert reserved rights in areas where SNWA would want to pump groundwater. “There is a potential that it could apply to the pipeline project as well,” said Howard Watts, a spokesman for Great Basin Water Network, which is leading the legal fight against the project. Nevada’s opposition to the Ninth Circuit ruling taps into a larger debate about the role that the federal government should play in managing land. When the attorney general announced the amicus brief, he framed it as “challenging federal overreach on groundwater rights.” In a press release, Laxalt said he was taking “necessary steps to clarify states’ groundwater rights and ensure Nevada’s best interests are being protected from unnecessary and unwarranted federal interference.” Throughout the brief, Laxalt argued that favoring federal water rights would also undermine the state’s ability to make its own choices. The ruling, Laxalt wrote, “has left the states with great uncertainty in an area of paramount sovereign importance.” Is the Supreme Court likely to hear it? That depends on who you ask. Lawyers in the “yes” camp say that the Ninth Circuit decision has national implications and would settle a topic that has led to conflicting outcomes. In the past, state courts have reached differing conclusions on how these rights fit in with state water law. Wyoming’s Supreme Court said tribes did not have a federal groundwater right. In a later case, the Arizona Supreme Court said there was a right, just within the framework of state law. Others are skeptical. Monte Mills, an assistant professor at the University of Montana’s Indian Law Clinic, said he thinks the Supreme Court will be reluctant to hear the case until the lower courts decide how much groundwater should be allocated to the Agua Caliente tribe. Supporters and opponents agree on one thing: if the Ninth Circuit opinion stands, a flood of litigation is coming.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Domestic water testing Ruidoso

New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) are hosting free Domestic Well Water Testing events in Ruidoso on August 18 and 19, 2017 and Pecos on September 9, 2017. These well water testing events are great opportunities for area residents to check pH, specific conductance, and the levels of arsenic, fluoride, iron, sulfate, and nitrate in their well water. NMED and DOH staff will also be available to discuss concerns related to private wells and water quality. The Ruidoso event will take place at the Eastern New Mexico University- Ruidoso at 709 Mechem Drive, in Ruidoso. Water samples will be accepted from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 18, and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 19. The Pecos event will take place at the Pecos Municipal Building at 92 South main Street, in Pecos. Water samples will be accepted from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 9. To participate, residents need to bring at least a quart of their well water to the event. Well water should be collected in a clean container, prior to any treatment, and as close to the time of the event as possible. Participants should allow water to run a couple of minutes prior to collecting well water. Stay Connected with New Mexico Environment Department

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

U.S. Senator Tom Udall delivered the keynote address at New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute

SOCORRO, N.M. — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall delivered the keynote address at New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute’s (WRRI) 62nd Annual N.M. Water Conference. In his address, entitled "Federal Water Policy and New Mexico: Our Progress and the Challenges Ahead," Udall discussed the current water challenges facing New Mexico, including climate change, innovative solutions and opportunities for making every drop count, and his work to improve federal water policy to best support New Mexico’s communities. Udall last addressed the NM WRRI Water Conference in 2012, and afterward issued a comprehensive report recommending 40 proposed actions based on suggestions contributed by the over 500 stakeholder participants. In his remarks today, Udall provided an update on his efforts to improve federal water policy affecting New Mexico communities — including his comprehensive drought legislation, now called the New Mexico Drought Preparedness Act, which he wrote based on the stakeholder recommendations in the 2012 report. Udall reintroduced the bill in June with Senator Martin Heinrich. “We face a 21st century supply and demand situation. Regional water managers expect that, in the coming decades, we will see water shortages everywhere in our state except the San Juan Basin. In the south, growth around the border zone in Santa Teresa and Las Cruces will drive even more demand for municipal and industrial water. And the climate is warming,” Udall said. "These are big challenges. Tensions can run high over water in the West. … Cooperation will be the only successful strategy -- to prepare for drought, to adapt to climate change, and to modernize our integrated water system. We must balance agriculture use, urban areas, and ecosystem needs." "We know drought will return,” Udall continued. "Now is the time to prepare." Udall also provided an update on two other pieces of legislation to improve efficiency and limit waste which emerged from the 2012 conference, the Smart Energy and Water Efficiency Act, and the Water Efficiency Improvement Act. He is optimistic that both bills will move forward this year. Following his speech, Udall moderated a panel discussion, “Addressing hidden realities of new water opportunities," with several water experts, including Myron Armijo, governor of Santa Ana Pueblo; and Terry Brunner, chief program officer with Grow New Mexico. He also participated in a discussion with his cousin Brad Udall, senior water and climate research scientist/scholar at Colorado State University’s Colorado Water Institute, about the "Udall Water Legacy" and the influences that have shaped their views on water and Western water policy. The full text of Udall’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below. Illustrations shown during the speech are available here. Thank you for being part of this annual conference. It’s great to be back with you! Thank you President Wells and New Mexico Tech for hosting us here -- adjacent to the Rio Grande. This is the ideal backdrop for discussing smart strategies for the enormous water challenges facing our state today. And a huge thanks to Sam Fernald, Cathy Ortega Klett, and the team for organizing this important get together -- as they have done for many years running, now. This audience has the technological knowledge -- matched with innovative ideas -- to help ensure a sustainable future for New Mexico water. I have a great deal of respect for New Mexico’s Institute -- and the other states’ water research institutes. As a co-sponsor of the legislation to reauthorize these institutes, I am optimistic about its passage and continued solid bipartisan support for funding. I will do my part on the Senate Appropriations Committee. I am back here -- five years later -- to report back about the progress we’ve made since the 2012 conference. At that time, we discussed many policy ideas. And afterward, we issued a report full of actions to take. But before we get into that, I’d like to briefly talk about today’s water resource management landscape. Because that tricky picture shows why we need to come together like this and seek cooperative solutions. I always like to start with John Wesley Powell’s map of the watersheds in the West. I have this map hanging in my office in Washington. Powell thought state lines should follow those boundaries. And if they didn’t, there would be water problems. Well, he was right. On top of that, Western water has a 19th century legal framework – with 20th century infrastructure – and 21st century pressures of increasing demand and climate change. Our long-term water supply and consumption are out of balance – even with current conservation efforts. Water professionals here today know this in technical terms. Farmers here know this in personal terms. First, the legal system – based on the need to develop the West – rewards use, not conservation. Those laws are adapting -- but largely remain on the books. Next, our 20th century infrastructure is aging. Elephant Butte Dam just celebrated its centennial — and it is not alone. Water lines and treatment plants are many decades old. Across the country, we have more than $350 billion worth of water infrastructure needs. Much of that is simply maintenance and repair. Here are some quick statistics on why we should invest: •For every one dollar we spend on water infrastructure, we return six dollars to our gross domestic product; •Investment in water infrastructure contributes more than $150 billion each year to annual household income, and; •Failure to invest in water and wastewater systems will lead to the loss of nearly 500,000 jobs by 2025 and 950,000 jobs by 2040. The needs I am talking about are not big new dams and pipelines. The era of guaranteed big federal investment in new water projects is largely over. The budget pressures and environmental costs are just too large. So we need to focus primarily on maintaining the water infrastructure we have. And I hold out hope – and am pushing for – a federal infrastructure package that would help address these needs, especially in the West. President Trump may not spend a lot of time thinking about the Bureau of Reclamation. But Secretary Zinke does. And we are doing everything we can to work closely with him on infrastructure. I even went horseback riding with him the other day. Finally, we face a 21st century supply and demand situation. Regional water managers expect that, in the coming decades, we will see water shortages everywhere in our state except the San Juan Basin. In the south, growth around the border zone in Santa Teresa and Las Cruces will drive even more demand for municipal and industrial water. And the climate is warming. In the Southwest, we’ve seen a 2.5 degree temperature increase since 1971. Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 2016 was Earth's warmest year on record. And it was the third year in a row that temperatures broke global records. The Bureau of Reclamation projects that the Rio Grande Basin will be hit the hardest over the coming century -- warming 5 to 6 degrees by 2100. That would cut the water flow south of Elephant Butte by half. And that is on top of a similar-size reduction from the San Juan Chama project – based on changes in New Mexico’s Colorado River allocations in low water years. These are big challenges. Tensions can run high over water in the West. Inter-basin transfers, endangered species, municipal versus rural users, Texas versus New Mexico, the U.S. versus Mexico. The list goes on. Cooperation will be the only successful strategy -- to prepare for drought, to adapt to climate change, and to modernize our integrated water system. We must balance agriculture use, urban areas, and ecosystem needs. Five years ago, we came together to discuss policy options to manage water scarcity in New Mexico. At that time, the state was in severe drought. Your insight and investment helped produce a report. It identified problem areas and made consensus-based policy recommendations, primarily in areas where the federal government can help. The signature result of that was the 2013 New Mexico Drought Relief Act. This spring, I reintroduced the bill for the third time, along with Senator Heinrich. We renamed it the New Mexico Drought Preparedness Act. You can see why. Here’s the most recent map of New Mexico drought conditions – from August 8 of this year. And here’s a map from four years ago – August 6, 2013. A marked – and welcome -- change. But we should be honest with ourselves—with 16 of the last 17 years as the hottest years on record—this reprieve is temporary. While the drought map looks much better, Dr. Phil King with New Mexico State has made an important point recently. Groundwater levels have been depressed since 2003, and Elephant Butte and Caballo Reservoir are just above 16 percent and 18 percent capacity respectively. Drier conditions are likely our New Normal. The Drought Act includes provisions to: •Study the whole Rio Grande Basin with the National Academies of Science, •Study additional water storage opportunities to provide additional management flexibility, •Promote voluntary water sharing among stakeholders in the Middle Rio Grande, •Extend the Emergency Drought Relief Act to allow the Bureau of Reclamation adapt to strained water supplies, and •Use our current authorities more effectively. We know drought will return. Now is the time to prepare. We are making progress with the bill, but Congress is slow. It’s like pushing water up hill. The Senate Subcommittee on Water and Power has held two hearings on the bill -- one in 2015 and one this June. We want to get the bill out of committee and through the Senate – as part of a larger package of water bills. We have also seen progress on parts of the bill in other ways. First has been the annual appropriations process. This year I was able to extend authorization of the Emergency Drought Relief Act to 2022. And we increased the spending cap for water projects by $30 million. We expect it will pass later this year-- and provide flexible operations and planning authority for the whole Reclamation system when there is drought. We have also included important language and funding -- to help Reclamation with voluntary water leasing efforts in the Middle Rio Grande. This was one of the key pieces of our 2012 report. Voluntary water sharing helps compensate farmers for stream flows - and avoid more difficult issues with the Endangered Species Act. In addition, two water efficiency bills came out of our 2012 effort. And both were in an energy bill that passed the Senate last year. And both bills are very well positioned to move in any energy legislation again this year. One of the bills, the Smart Energy and Water Efficiency Act, addresses the energy-water nexus -- treating water as an expensive and energy intensive process. Leaks and breaks waste as much as 2 trillion gallons of purified drinking water each year. Water that takes a huge amount of energy—and money—to treat and pump. And then just goes into the ground. So our bill supports investment in information technology -- that can identify decreases in water pressure, and identify leaks and breaks immediately or even before they occur – to save water, energy and money. The second bill, the Water Efficiency Improvement Act, would make the EPA’s popular WaterSense program permanent. For those who don’t know, WaterSense is like the EnergyStar label but for water fixtures like faucets and sprinklers. Since 2006, WaterSense products saved more than 2.1 trillion gallons of water -- and more than $46.3 billion in consumer water and energy bills. Each dollar spent on this program saved consumers an estimated $1,100. My bipartisan bill would make WaterSense permanent. This legislation is especially needed now because the new Administration wants to eliminate WaterSense. We’ve also made progress on other proposals from the 2012 Conference Report, including: •Restarting annual funding to the Transboundary Aquifer Research -- which allows for collaboration and data exchange between Mexican and U.S. partners. •Funding from the Army Corps of Engineers for the Rio Grande Environmental Management Program -- to repay past commitments to New Mexico towns and cities for water infrastructure. •Giving acequias and other agricultural users access to additional U.S. Department of Agriculture funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program to help unique New Mexico water users update their historic irrigation systems. •Helping secure $150 million dollars over the last two years for the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program. That program provides technical and financial help to support off-farm conservation projects. •Dedicating a portion of EPA water funding for “green infrastructure.” This uses natural hydrology designs to reduce runoff and contamination at lower costs than traditional—mostly concrete—projects. The Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority completed a first of its kind project with this funding just last year. In 2012, the threat of climate change underpinned our conference report. Climate change still inform all we do in terms of water resource management. The first natural system affected by climate change is water. And that threat is here and now.   We have seen this first-hand in New Mexico – severe droughts, decreased snow pack, flooding caused by uncharacteristically warm winters and springs, and catastrophic fires causing severe erosion and damaging surface water. Climate change impacts are being felt throughout the West. The time to adapt is now. The science of climate change should not be political. We must make our policy decisions based on the science – and our responsibility to future generations. You are a cohort of smart, technically savvy, and politically astute water experts. You can help think through the new round of challenges we have -- and work together to solve problems. The stakes are high. But as Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” As your senator, my job is to help groups of thoughtful, committed citizens like you effect that change. So I returned to report on our progress—and I am seeking your feedback for future work. We are looking for cooperative ideas, not taking sides in conflicts. Rest assured -- we have plenty of conflict in Washington these days. I am also excited to hear about your success stories. Many of you have accomplished great things in the past five years, and learned a lot that you can share. The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Elephant Butte, our Tribes and Pueblos, acequia associations, our arroyo flood control authorities, water utilities and other state and local agencies are working hard on these issues every day. As are conservation groups and academic organizations. Thank you all. So, my staff and I look forward to your insight and expertise today and tomorrow -- and to working together to make our state’s water supplies more secure for our children and grandchildren. I have some time for questions, if you would like, before our next presentation.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Legislation aimed at ending horse slaughter

Legislation aimed at ending horse slaughter Ruidoso News ASPCA Last week, members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted in favor of a ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption on American soil. The bipartisan amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 agriculture appropriations bill disallows spending by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in that year on inspections at prospective horse slaughter plants. Officials with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, known by the acronym ASPCA, commended the Senate appropriation committee members for passing an anti-horse slaughter amendment in its FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The amendment will prevent the USDA from using taxpayer dollars to inspect horse slaughter facilities. The Udall-Graham Amendment, introduced by Sens. Tom Udall, Democrat from New Mexico. and Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, was passed in the full committee by a bipartisan vote and would effectively continue a ban on the horse slaughter industry on U.S. soil.

Statement of Secretary Perdue Regarding Japan's Planned Increase of Tariff on U.S. Frozen Beef

Statement of Secretary Perdue Regarding Japan's Planned Increase of Tariff on U.S. Frozen Beef WASHINGTON, July 28, 2017 – The government of Japan has announced that rising imports of frozen beef in the first quarter of the Japanese fiscal year (April-June) have triggered a safeguard, resulting in an automatic increase to Japan's tariff rate under the WTO on imports of frozen beef from the United States. The increase, from 38.5 percent to 50 percent, will begin August 1, 2017 and last through March 31, 2018. The tariff would affect only exporters from countries, including the United States, which do not have free trade agreements with Japan currently in force. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement: “I am concerned that an increase in Japan's tariff on frozen beef imports will impede U.S. beef sales and is likely to increase the United States’ overall trade deficit with Japan. This would harm our important bilateral trade relationship with Japan on agricultural products. It would also negatively affect Japanese consumers by raising prices and limiting their access to high-quality U.S. frozen beef. I have asked representatives of the Japanese government directly and clearly to make every effort to address these strong concerns, and the harm that could result to both American producers and Japanese consumers.” U.S. exports of beef and beef products to Japan totaled $1.5 billion last year, making it the United States’ top market.

Friday, July 21, 2017

NM WRRI’s 62nd Annual New Mexico Water Conference invites poster abstracts

Deadline: July 26, 2017 NM WRRI’s 62nd Annual New Mexico Water Conference invites poster abstracts on any water research or water management topic. The poster session will take place on Wednesday, August 16, 10:00-11:30 am, New Mexico Tech. Click here for details.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Aamodt Final Judgment and Decree Signed Despite TOW Outstanding Protest

Respond to this post by replying above this line New post on La Jicarita Aamodt Final Judgment and Decree Signed Despite TOW Outstanding Protest by lajicarita By KAY MATTHEWS On Thursday, July 13, the day before U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson was scheduled to sign the Aamodt Final Judgment and Decree, Taos County Manager Leandro Córdova called to tell me that Taos County contract attorney Peter Shoenfeld had been authorized to submit a Motion for Leave to Appear in a Limited Manner at the signing. The motion sought to bring to the court's attention that provisions of the Aamodt Settlement Act require that before any final judgment can be issued the State Engineer must grant a permit for the Top of the World water rights, located in northern Taos County, to a location that will serve the four pueblos in the Aamodt adjudication—Pojoaque, Tesuque, Nambe, and San Ildefonso—and the proposed Pojoaque Valley Regional Water System. That permit has not been granted: the State Engineer has not rendered a decision in Taos County's protest of the TOW water transfer at a hearing before the Office of the State Engineer in October of 2016. Judge Johnson rejected the motion and signed the final judgment and decree, thus ending the more than 50-year-old Aamodt Adjudication. The Aamodt Adjudication Settlement Act that was signed in 2010 stipulates that in order to meet the terms of the settlement the water rights have to have been “acquired and entered into appropriate contracts” and “permits have been issued by the New Mexico State Engineer to the Regional Water Authority” and that “the permits shall be free of any condition that materially adversely affects the ability of the Pueblos or the Regional Water Authority to divert or use the Pueblo water supply . . . .” As I wrote in my previous La Jicarita article, "Judge Set to Sign Aamodt Adjudication Final Decree When Top of the World Water Rights are Still Contested?", none of the attorneys who represent parties to the adjudication were able to explain to me how the Final Decree could be signed in light of these requirements. John Utton, who is the attorney for Santa Fe County, could or would not answer my question, yet he is the attorney who signed the "Notice of Certification by Santa Fe County and City of Santa Fe of Satisfactions of Conditions", or in other words, that the conditions of the Aamodt Settlement Act have been met "for entry of a Final Decree." Arianne Singer, who represents the state in the adjudication, signed off and has never returned my phone calls. The U.S. Attorney signed off as well as did all the attorneys for the pueblos. Although this Final Judgment and Decree also denies all other objections, parties to the adjudication can appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Three hundred non-pueblo water rights owners, many of whom never wanted implementation of a water delivery system in lieu of their wells, filed objections to the adjudication. Some objectors have already retained attorneys with the Western Agriculture, Resource and Business Advocates, who also represent members of Northern New Mexicans Protecting Land, Water, and Rights (NNMProtects) in the controversy between the pueblos and county residents over access and easement rights on county roads that fall within the exterior boundaries of the four pueblos involved in the Aamodt Settlement—Tesuque, Nambe, Pojoaque, and San Ildefonso. In 2015 the Santa Fe County Commission passed Resolution 2015-25, which requires that the legal status of the county roads be resolved before the commission appropriates funding for the regional water system. The water system must be completed by 2024 under the terms of the Settlement or the Decree will be null and void. NNMProtects attorneys were prevented from attending a closed door meeting between the Santa Fe County Commission and representatives of federal agencies and the pueblos on Thursday, July 13 to discuss the road easement controversy. So was Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, whose district covers part of northern Santa Fe County. So we have two situations in which the parties substantively affected by the terms of the Aamodt Settlement are denied recourse: the citizens of Taos County are denied due process in their protest of the loss of 1,751 acre feet of water from Top of the World and the citizens of the Pojoaque Valley are excluded from meetings that will determine funding for a regional water system that many of them never wanted. While the Aamodt objectors have the opportunity to file an appeal, it will prove costly and decidedly difficult to contest a Final Decree that is being gleefully celebrated by those who benefit from its terms. It seems highly unlikely that Taos County will file an appeal if the State Engineer approves the TOW transfer; the integrity of the protest has already been negated with the issuance of the Final Decree. lajicarita | July 17, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Tags: Aamodt Adjudication Settlement, Northern New Mexicans Protecting Land, Top of the World (TOW) | Categories: Acequias, Groundwater, Law and Courts, New Mexico, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, Santa Fe County, Taos County, Water Adjudication, water and acequias | URL: http://wp.me/p2bCkq-1Jj Comment See all comments Unsubscribe to no longer receive posts from La Jicarita. Change your email settings at Manage Subscriptions. Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://lajicarita.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/aamodt-final-judgment-and-decree-signed-despite-tow-outstanding-protest/

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The 62nd NM WRRI Annual New Mexico Water Conference will take place in Socorro, New Mexico on August 15-16, 2017

The 62nd NM WRRI Annual New Mexico Water Conference will take place in Socorro, New Mexico on August 15-16, 2017 with the theme Hidden Realities of New Water Opportunities. A highlight of each year’s annual water conference is a poster session where participants can learn about current water research taking place around the state and region. The poster session, scheduled for Wednesday, August 16, offers a wonderful opportunity for networking with state and regional water experts. We anticipate about 200 attendees at this year's conference. This Call for Poster Abstracts seeks abstracts for posters on any water research or management topic. We encourage interested students, researchers, and practitioners to submit poster abstracts via the online submission process. Abstracts for consideration for posters will be accepted through July 26, 2017. Notification of poster acceptance will be announced by July 31, 2017.

Hunting plans shot? Donate that license to a good cause

Hunting plans shot? Donate that license to a good cause SANTA FE – New Mexico hunters are reminded that in the event they can’t use their hunting license this season, it can be donated for a youth to use. The State Game Commission has authorized two nonprofit organizations, the New Mexico Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife of Farmington and The Donald R. Kemp Youth Hunting Club in Las Cruces to receive donated hunting licenses and provide them to qualified youths to use. Requests to donate hunting licenses must be made in writing to the department before the start of the hunt. The department recommends submitting the request well in advance to give the organizations time to find an eligible recipient. When a recipient is located, the department will transfer the existing license to them. Hunters should be aware that for mandatory harvest reporting species, the license holder is responsible for filing a harvest report until the transfer is completed or if no recipient is found. Last year, 23 youths age 17 and younger got to go hunting with donated licenses. Hunters should contact the department’s Information Center, (888) 248-6866 or ispa@state.nm.us to make arrangements to donate a hunting license or for more information about the program. No refunds are offered for donated licenses. See the 2017-2018 Hunting Rules and Information Booklet, www.wildlife.state.nm.us, for exceptions that qualify for a refund or transfer of a hunting license.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Meeting this Friday July 14

the next Quarterly meeting will be 14 July at 10:00 am in the meeting room of the Artesia Ag Science Center, 67 four Dinkus road Artisia NM. If you have agenda Items please get them to be on or before 7 July 2017. Topics so far. 1. Regional water planing redrawing of boundaries.

Friday, July 7, 2017

WRRI Abstract summisssion deadline

Deadline: July 26, 2017 The 62nd NM WRRI Annual New Mexico Water Conference will take place in Socorro, New Mexico on August 15-16, 2017 with the theme Hidden Realities of New Water Opportunities. A highlight of each year’s annual water conference is a poster session where participants can learn about current water research taking place around the state and region. The poster session, scheduled for Wednesday, August 16, offers a wonderful opportunity for networking with state and regional water experts. We anticipate about 200 attendees at this year's conference. This Call for Poster Abstracts seeks abstracts for posters on any water research or management topic. We encourage interested students, researchers, and practitioners to submit poster abstracts via the online submission process. Abstracts for consideration for posters will be accepted through July 26, 2017. Notification of poster acceptance will be announced by July 31, 2017. For submission guidelines and more information, click here.

NMSU professors expand project to map Zika mosquitoes across southern New Mexico

NMSU professors expand project to map Zika mosquitoes across southern New Mexico DATE: 07/07/2017 WRITER: Minerva Baumann, 575-646-7566, mbauma46@nmsu.edu CONTACT: Kathryn Hanley, 575-646-4583, khanley@nmsu.edu CONTACT: Michaela Buenemann, 575-646-3509, elabuen@nmsu.edu Researchers at New Mexico State University have received a second contract from the New Mexico Department of Health to expand last summer’s project to map the geographic distribution of mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus in the state. In May, the new study determined the species that transmits the Zika virus –Aedes aegypti – is in Doña Ana County. Last year, New Mexico had 10 reported cases of Zika virus disease imported by travelers. There have been no reports of Zika virus disease so far this year. “The state was extremely pleased with our previous work,” said Kathryn Hanley, NMSU biology professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. “Consequently when there was more money issued to study these vectors for Zika virus, they asked us to come on board again and this time they asked if we could do a more detailed study within cities.” Hanley and NMSU geography professor Michaela Buenemann’s investigations last summer demonstrated the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are only found in the southern third of the state. “All we know right now is that the species occur in urban and built-up environments in the southern counties of New Mexico,” said Buenemann. “We don’t know where the species occur within cities. For example, we don’t know if they are more prevalent in vegetated or built-up areas, in open spaces or densely populated parts, or in neighborhoods with higher or lower incomes. Both human and environmental factors likely shape the distributions of those mosquitoes but at this point we really don’t know.” The new contract will allow the researchers to uncover specifics about what kinds of conditions attract the mosquitoes that can potentially transmit Zika virus. “We’re going to do a detailed study of the 11 largest cities in southern New Mexico,” said Hanley. “So we’ll be doing extensive trapping in urban areas. We’re knocking on doors in urban areas to ask people if we can access their backyards to put our mosquito traps down. That will also lend itself to modeling which environmental factors in cities shape the distribution and abundance of these mosquitoes.” Graduate students working with Buenemann and Hanley have already made one discovery this summer. They started trapping in the spring expecting to see the first mosquitoes in July. Instead they caught mosquitoes in early May, which indicates the insects have been active since March, a much longer period of disease risk than initially predicted. “We will continue to trap at least until we get a hard frost,” said Hanley. “We assume once we get a hard frost we’ll stop collecting Aedes aegypti but it’s not inconceivable that we’ll be trapping all year long and into next summer.” “We’re not only interested in how these mosquitoes vary across space and through time but also in what kinds of human-environmental interactions might explain these distributions,” said Buenemann. This new study will include two additional areas of research conducted by Immo Hansen and Jiannong Xu, both associate professors of biology at NMSU. The Hansen lab is going to test how resistant the New Mexican mosquitoes are against commonly used insecticides. “Resistance levels are important to know when there is an outbreak because it helps the mosquito control professionals choose the right type of insecticide to get the biggest bang for the buck,” Hansen said. Xu will lead research about the New Mexico mosquitoes’ microbiome, the bacteria and fungi that live together with the mosquito. Manipulating the mosquito microbiome also can help mosquito control efforts. “The mosquito associated microbes have co-evolved with the mosquito host,” Xu said. “They have significant contributions to various mosquito life traits including development, fecundity and vector competence. Understanding the microbe-mosquito interactions will facilitate development of novel strategies for mosquito control.” The goal for the NMDOH is to inform southern New Mexico communities of the risk of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases. “Your relative risk is going to be determined by how many Aedes aegypti mosquitoes you are likely to encounter at your home,” Hanley said. “If you live way out on a farm, our research suggests you are unlikely to encounter them. If you live in Las Cruces proper, our study should allow us to tell you whether you work, live or play in an area of very high or low mosquito density.” For information about Zika virus, visit https://nmhealth.org/go/zika or http://www.cdc.gov/zika. - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nmsunews Follow NMSU News on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NMSUNews

NMSU alumni use grant to expand sustainable farming techniques

NMSU alumni use grant to expand sustainable farming techniques DATE: 07/07/2017 WRITER: Billy Huntsman, 575-646-7953, wthv8420@nmsu.edu CONTACT: Lea WiseSurguy-Sophiliazo, , patavivafarm@gmail.com Along a high gravel road radiating white under the sunlight, near the Rio Grande, whose waters splash against the walls of a bridge over it, and nestled within acres of shady pecan trees is Taylor Hood Farms. Here New Mexico State University alumni Lea WiseSurguy-Sophiliazo and her husband, Patrick DeSimio-Sophiliazo, are preparing for the first of a series of community meals in mid July. “We want to bring together anyone who has a role in the agricultural sector—farmers, agricultural scientists, policymakers, chefs, distributors—to share knowledge and build partnerships,” DeSimio said. The rows of artichokes, which grow in fat bundles with regal purple flowers on top, squash, zucchini, and the hoop houses draped in opaque canvas containing tomato plants, most green, some rare reds, are part of the first exhibit in a project. “The project is called the MESA Project and it’s funded through a $250,000 grant through ArtPlace America,” said DeSimio. MESA stands for Meetings for Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture and the project’s goal is to create a symbiotic relationship among people involved in agriculture, farming and food preparation in a way that is beneficial to the environment. Taylor Hood Farms is a partner in the MESA Project, which will eventually include other farms in Doña Ana County. In 2015, Julia Barello, head of the NMSU Art Department in the College of Arts and Sciences, contacted WiseSurguy, who had recently completed her MFA in sculpture. Barello encouraged WiseSurguy to apply for the ArtPlace grant, though neither had any idea what the grant could be used for. Eventually, WiseSurguy came up with the idea of “protecting the environment through the culinary arts,” she said. “One of the biggest benefits we can have in our area is using the arts to improve the sustainability of our agriculture, both in terms of long-term farming issues—water scarcity, topsoil loss and soil salinization—and in terms of protecting the environment,” said DeSimio. The project has four parts, DeSimio said, one being the community meals. “Agriculture and food go hand in hand,” said WiseSurguy. “It’s absolutely a reality that for most of the people who come into this type of work, it’s because they have a love for food and a love for the land and there is that special joy that comes from eating meals together.” Community meals, therefore, are an ideal way to bring together different portions of the agricultural industry to start talking about ways to yield better crops while protecting the environment, she said. Part two is an experimental farm, Pata Viva, DeSimio said. “Pata Viva Farm is the experimental farm part of our grant where we’re going to be implementing all of the different techniques that we’ll be talking about in each one of ours meals in order to get these processes off of the research farms, get them onto working farms,” WiseSurguy said. Pata Viva’s farming techniques, which focus on reducing water use, topsoil loss and soil salinization, are still in the design phase so the first community meal will take place on July 15 at Taylor Hood Farms, a partner farm that has independently implemented sustainable farming methods through a partnership with professors in NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Pata Viva Farm and Taylor Hood Farms will be working closely together to expand sustainable agricultural in Dona Ana County, and Taylor Hood Farms will likely be among the first additional sites for any viable techniques that Pata Viva identifies through the MESA Project. DeSimio and his partners hope these techniques will become popular and be implemented on other farms. One of the biggest components of Pata Viva’s farming techniques is the use of special greenhouses designed to keep temperatures well below 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit, which conventional greenhouses can reach or exceed in the summer. The greenhouses at Pata Viva and Taylor Hood Farms were designed by Carlos Estrada-Vega, a Las Cruces artist, with help from Bryce Richard. These uniquely designed greenhouses can stay below 85 degrees in the summer and above 50 degrees in the winter, without any artificial heating or cooling, said WiseSurguy. The third part is creating a “very user-friendly technical manual” to further help farmers in implementing these new techniques. DeSimio, a master’s candidate in rhetoric and communication at NMSU, is working with agricultural scientists to develop the manual, which will be routinely updated to address farmers’ issues when implementing these new techniques. “The fourth part is a final art show at the University Art Gallery,” said DeSimio. “There’s going to be a whole exhibit focused on the intersections of agriculture and the environment.” The first community meal will take place on July 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Taylor Hood Farms. The project runners anticipate around 300 people attending. Register here. For more information about the project, visit mesanm.org. - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nmsunews Follow NMSU News on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NMSUNews

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Hornshell CCA and CCAA drafts publish in the Federal Register

The Hornshell CCA and CCAA drafts publish in the Federal Register tomorrow, July 7th. Here is the link to the CCA/A Federal Register notice: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2017-14235.pdf. The open comment period will end on August 7th and the drafts will go to signature on August 10th. After that, we have one month to enroll folks into the program. Because it is a short window to enroll, we have developed a nonbinding application (attached) that can be filled out and signed (after the agreements have been signed by FWS) to show intent to enroll. This in no way binds you to enrollment, but assures enrollment in the event you so desire. It will allow us more time to get individual CIs/CPs in place with folks once the listing determination has occurred. If you wish to enroll, please fill out the application, sign and date (must be dated after the parent agreements have been signed by FWS) and send back to me. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. Thank you, Emily

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Next quarterly meeting 14 July

The poll is in and the next Quarterly meeting will be 14 July at 10:00 am in the meeting room of the Artesia Ag Science Center, 67 four Dinkus road Artisia NM. If you have agenda Items please get them to be on or before 7 July 2017. Topics so far. 1. Regional water planing redrawing of boundaries.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sheriff working on Rural Community Policing

Mark Gage the sheriff of Eddy County is working on developing a rural community policing. It is difficult with a force of only about 60 officers to have a presence in a county 4,184 square miles or 2,677,760 acres big with thousands of miles of back county gravel roads. The attached form is so that patrol officer on sheriff deputies can respond to rural areas better. For location you can use rural addressing system, Range Township section ¼ of the ¼ , GPS lat and long. Whatever you have the more the better. You can also include information like Elderly in residence, Heart condition, and diabetic whatever you think will help a first responder. This is 100% voluntary and is to help them help you. You can mail, fax, scan and e-mail, or drop it by the Eddy County Sheriff’s office or the Extension Office and I will make sure he gets it. Send this to your friends or give them a form. Right now he is concentration is on ranches but he will want to do the same with farms I am sure in the near future. If you have question or concerns call Mark or the Under Sheriff. Share this form with other Rural residents, and help Sheriff Gage help us.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

USDA Announces More Than $9 Million to Address Critical Water Resources Issues

USDA Announces More Than $9 Million to Address Critical Water Resources Issues Media contact: Sally Gifford, 202-720-2047 WASHINGTON, D.C. June 14, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 14 grants totaling more than $9 million to help solve critical water problems in rural and agricultural watersheds across the United States. The grants are funded through the Water for Agriculture Challenge Area of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. “Food, water, climate, energy, and environmental issues are all linked together, which is why we invest in multi-level approaches to water management solutions,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These solutions will improve water resource quantity and quality for America’s agricultural systems, and also inform decision makers and citizens alike.” The Water for Agriculture Challenge Area aims to address critical water resources issues such as drought, excess soil moisture, flooding, quality and quantity, and other water issues within an agricultural context. Grants being announced today are listed by description and state. Water for Agriculture Coordinated Agricultural Projects: • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $2,000,000 • Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, $2,192,992 • Texas A&M AgriLife Research, College Station, Texas, $1,383,497 Understanding Decisions and Behaviors Connected with Agriculture and Post-harvest Processing Industry Water Use: • University of California, Berkeley, California, $463,338 • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, $462,499 • University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, $458,043 • University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, $462,539 • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, $453,539 Understanding the Human Health Impacts to Exposure from Nontraditional Water Used in Agriculture: • University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, $406,907 • University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, $463,338 • Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, $499,999 • University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, $495,692 • University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, $499,617 • Utah State University, Logan, Utah, $500,000 Project details can be found at the NIFA website. Among the grants, a University of Montana project will improve the efficacy of climate information for water use through developing, testing, and institutionalizing new tools for producers. A University of Florida project will ensure economic sustainability of agriculture and silviculture in Northern Florida and Southern Georgia while protecting the water quantity, quality, and habitat in the Upper Floridian Aquifer. Since 2014, NIFA has awarded nearly $42 million through the Water for Agriculture Challenge Area. Previously funded projects include a University of Nevada project dedicated to enhancing climate resiliency and agriculture on tribal land. A Clemson University project is focused on developing a near real-time drought forecasting model that would help farmers anywhere in the United States. NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and promotes transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA support for the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel has resulted in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate climate variability, and ensure food safety. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural science, visit www.nifa.usda.gov/impacts, sign up for email updates or follow us on Twitter @USDA_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Quaterly meeting date poll

Please respond on this doodle poll for our 1/4 meeting date https://doodle.com/poll/eysxzmeu9xy555fh

Dear Lower Pecos Water Planning stakeholders,

Dear Lower Pecos Water Planning stakeholders, Thank you for your interest in and commitment to water planning in our state. Please read below and take the surveys linked in to the body of this email. This is a follow-up email to our email that Woods Houghton forwarded on May 22, 2017. For those of you who have already taken the survey about water planning boundaries, thank you. This email has an additional survey and background info attached we’d like you to take. The first survey regards the physical boundaries of the state’s 16 planning regions. As we water planning staff traveled the state to all 16 regions in the past three years to update the plans, we heard from various water stakeholders that they would like to see future changes to the NMISC’s water planning boundaries. We would like your input on this matter by your taking the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RWP-Boundaries. We encourage you to read the attached white papers first, as getting your informed feedback on the pros and cons of reshaping or modifying existing water planning boundaries based on aquifers and watershed helps ISC shape and improve its water planning program. The other survey has to do with the spreadsheet of Policies, Programs, and Projects list in the updated plans. As part of the process for preparing the Regional Water Plans (ISC, 2014-2017), each region developed a list of policies, programs, and projects, also referred to as the “PPP lists”. Today, we are concerned with what approaches should be used to update the PPP lists. Understanding that every region, and, thus, entities within the regions, is different and has its unique considerations when planning for water, we value your feedback. Again, we encourage you to read the white paper first, as your informed input will help the ISC continue to strive to improve its water planning program. The PPP list survey is available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RWP-PPP-Lists I look forward to hearing your opinions and sharing the results of the survey with you! Thank you in advance for taking the time to read the attached white papers and take the surveys regarding ISC water planning regions’ boundaries and the process for updating the lists of Policies, Programs and Projects of the Regional Water Plans. In addition to the surveys, if you have specific comments or suggestions regarding these two areas, please communicate them with us. We’re asking that you complete the surveys by June 15, 2017. Pardon any duplicative emails. Let us know if you wish to be taken off this list. Best regards, --Lucía <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Lucía F. Sánchez Water Planning Program Manager NM Interstate Stream Commission 407 Galisteo Street Bataan Memorial Building Phone: (505) 476-5397

Upcoming Environmental Modeling in Ground Water Public Meeting

June 8, 2017 In This Update: Upcoming Environmental Modeling in Ground Water Public Meeting On June 28, 2017, EPA will hold an Environmental Modeling Public Meeting. This meeting provides a public forum for pesticide registrants, other stakeholders and EPA to discuss current issues related to modeling pesticide fate, transport, and exposure for pesticide risk assessments in a regulatory context. Groundwater modeling is conducted as part of the pesticide registration and re-evaluation processes. This meeting will focus on: • evidence of subsurface (below 1 meter) biodegradation (or metabolism) in groundwater; • methods for measuring subsurface biodegradation; and • how to incorporate this information in EPA’s models. Requests to participate in the meeting must be received on or before June 21, 2017. Please contact Stephen Wente or Jessica Joyce to register for this meeting. More information can be found at www.regulations.gov in docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0879-0116. Sign up for updates and abstract requests for future Environmental Modeling Public Meetings.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute hosts conference in Las Cruces in June

New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute hosts conference in Las Cruces in June DATE: 05/31/2017 WRITER: Kristie Garcia, 575-646-4211, kmgarcia@nmsu.edu CONTACT: Jesslyn Ratliff, 575-646-1194, jesslynr@nmsu.edu The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute at New Mexico State University is hosting the New Mexico Evapotranspiration Conference June 6 and 7 at the Las Cruces Convention Center. The New Mexico Evapotranspiration Conference program is designed to help choose an evapotranspiration model for the New Mexico Statewide Water Assessment (SWA). Discussion amongst the experts at the conference will aid in this decision. The SWA is a three-year project that has been supported by the New Mexico Governor and the New Mexico Legislature. The SWA is an effort that will complement existing state agency water resource assessments. It will provide new, frequently updated, spatially representative assessments of water budgets for the entire state of New Mexico. Evapotranspiration (ET) is one of the components of the model. ET is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces and by transpiration from plants. The conference will address how other states are using ET and what has been learned. Discussions will include the latest ET developments, how land-management practices can be impacted by ET estimates and why obtaining better ET data is important. The conference is 8 a.m to 5 p.m. June 6. The conference begins at 8 a.m. June 7 and concludes with a field trip to NMSU’s Leyendecker Research Center starting at 12:45 p.m. Field trip participants will view ET measurement techniques, a new weather station and an alfalfa field. Conference presenters and moderators are from Arizona State University, Elephant Butte Irrigation District, Jornada Experimental Range, Kipp & Zonen, NASA, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, New Mexico Pecan Growers, New Mexico Tech, New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, NMSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences (College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences), NMSU Department of Civil Engineering (College of Engineering), University of Idaho, University of Maryland, University of New Mexico, U.S. Department of Agriculture Southwest Climate Hub and U.S. Geological Survey. For a complete agenda and list of speakers, visit https://et.nmwrri.nmsu.edu/program/ Registration is $55 and includes three meals. For those only attending the field trip, registration is $20 and includes transportation and lunch. To register for the conference, visit https://et.nmwrri.nmsu.edu. For more information, call 575-646-1194 or email jesslynr@nmsu.edu. The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute was established in 1963 by the New Mexico Legislature and approved under the 1964 Water Resources Research Act. The NM WRRI funds research conducted by faculty and students from universities across the state to address water problems critical to New Mexico and the Southwest. The institute also participates in joint efforts to solve water-related problems along the U.S./Mexico border. Visit nmwrri.nmsu.edu for more information. - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nmsunews Follow NMSU News on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NMSUNews