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NMSU to host water conference at Santa Fe County Fairgrounds

  • By Jane Moorman
  • 505-249-0527
  • jmoorman@nmsu.edu
  • Jul 09, 2012
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SANTA FE, N.M. – Being more efficient with a limited natural resource such as water is on the minds of everyone during a drought.

New Mexico State University is hosting "Water: The Foundation of Agricultural Sustainability Conference" to address a wide variety of topics on being more efficient with water in agricultural and urban usage.

The conference takes place Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds, 3229 Rodeo Road.

The free conference is funded by the USDA program Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education and is hosted by the NMSU Santa Fe County Cooperative Extension Service.

"Water conservation, quality, quantity, storage and efficient usage were the top concern of the stakeholders participating in a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education listening conference held in Albuquerque," said Stephanie Walker, assistant professor at NMSU Extension plant sciences department. "This conference is in response to the request of the stakeholders to have more training in water uses."

Jeff Bader, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service northern district director, will open the conference with a welcome from NMSU, while Don Bustos of San Cruz Farms and Santa Fe County Commissioner Robert A. Anaya will provide opening remarks.

The program will cover a wide variety of topics on different aspects of efficient water usage in urban and agricultural operations. The opening session, "Finding a Balance Between Agricultural and Urban Water Uses," will set the tone of the conference.

"It takes all stakeholders – urban and rural – working together to be wise stewards of this precious natural resource," Walker said. "Urban dwellers may think the answer is to decrease agricultural usage, but if we lose agriculture in the United States and the Southwest we will not be feeding ourselves with locally produced food, which is also a serious concern."

Other presentation topics will include:
• The history and role of acequias in New Mexico
• Why and how to catch rainwater
• Evaluating alternative low-water-use crops
• Efficient irrigation for orchards
• Using gravity-drip irrigation in the Navajo Nation
• Performance of drip-irrigation emitters at sub-standard pressure
• Prototype design and construction for low-head hydropower generation
• An overview of practical applications of renewable energy technology to the pumping of ground water for agricultural purposes in New Mexico

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 8 a.m. and concluding at 5 p.m. Lunch will be catered, so preregistration is requested. To register online, visit http://aces.nmsu.edu/programs/sare/index.html or call Mary Curtis at 575-646-1715.