The Tumbleweed Snowman: An Immigrant Tale

A riff in the morning paper on Albquerque’s beloved Tumbleweed Snowman, after spending the morning watching the flood control authority crew do his final assembly: Tumbleweed origin stories differ, but only slightly. German-Russian Mennonite farmers are believed to have inadvertently brought the seeds of our modern tumbleweed, also known as Russian thistle, mixed in with …

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Stuff I wrote elsewhere: NM water policy tools poorly suited for the job

From this morning’s newspaper, a look at the latest proposal to pump rural groundwater to New Mexico’s populous middle (behind Google surveywall): Depending on your view of the issue, this is either: a) an innovative approach to bring new water to the Middle Rio Grande Valley, or b) an inappropriate attempt to privatize a public resource …

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Stuff I wrote elsewhere: Drought-tolerant alfalfa

It’s a little thing, this new breed of drought-tolerant alfalfa bred on New Mexico State University research plots in the southern part of my arid state. But it provides another clue (behind a Google surveywall) about what the path forward in western water management might look like: Adoption of a new crop takes time, so don’t …

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Sewage treatment plant, Albuquerque

Water is photogenic, even at a sewage treatment plant. This is from a tour this afternoon of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority’s Southside Wastewater Reclamation Plant with a couple of University of New Mexico faculty colleagues and a bunch of students, including the graduate students in the Water Resources Program, where I’m an …

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Stuff I wrote elsewhere: ASR in New Mexico

I had a lovely afternoon yesterday walking alongside the Bear Canyon Arroyo in Albuquerque’s northeast heights, talking with fellow water nerds Katherine Yuhas and Amy Ewing, and watching water flow in New Mexico’s first operational aquifer storage and recovery project (behind a Google surveywall): Nearly 3,000 gallons a minute of water began spurting from a …

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State-level “water resource fees”

About a decade ago, New Mexico state Rep. Mimi Stewart introduced legislation to collect a “water resource fee” on all water use in the state – $2 per acre foot for ag, $20 per acre foot for municipal and most other water users. (details in a 2003 talk by Steward here – pdf) The idea …

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Here’s what ag water conservation might look like

A lovely fall day in the Rio Grande Valley, on Albuquerque’s west side. The green field in the lower left of this picture is alfalfa. The scraggly brown stuff in the middle and right foreground is a part of the same field left fallow this year. The cottonwoods, God love ‘em, suck up water no …

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