Natalie Rogers did a nice writeup for the University of New Mexico on some work I’m doing with a group of University of New Mexico colleagues on climate change impacts and adaptation in New Mexico.
Working as part of a new affiliation between UNM researchers and the USGS-funded South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center, some students are I are taking a deep(er) dive into the evolution of agriculture in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico and southern Colorado over time as climate change reduces surface water supplies.
This is an outgrowth of conversations my UNM Economics colleague Bob Berrens and I have been having as we teach in the UNM Water Resources Program core. In particular, I’m interested in disaggregating agriculture – recognizing that “agricultural water use” is not one thing, varying significantly among the acequias of Northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, the cultural farming of the pueblos of the New Mexico’s middle Rio Grande Valley, and the money farming done in the pecan orchards of the southern part of the state. We’re convinced that lumping “agriculture” together misses distinctions that are important for thinking about climate change adaptation.
Interested in this sort of thing? We’re now accepting applications for fall 2020!
Reduced surface flows and water availability are due to over pumping and over use of a limited resource. You can say all you want about climate change and i’d agree it will have some impact, but adapting to the future of some percentage drop in available supply will also have to address the simple facts on and under the ground. You can’t keep abusing a system and expect it to all come out ok.
In good news.
At the present Lake Mead is nearing 1095ft elevation. at least that has been changed. we’ll see how long that can last and if they’ll let more water go for the river and the delta.