Rio Grande initiatives meet together for collaboration
The Joint Rio Grande Basin Initiatives Conference was held May 17-20 in Alpine, Texas at the Sul Ross State University campus with 103 participants in attendance representing six universities, three institutes, six state and federal agencies, two states and two countries.
The purpose of this meeting was to bring the Efficient Irrigation for Water Conservation in the Rio Grande Basin Initiative (RGBI) project and the Sustainable Agricultural Water Conservation in the Rio Grande Basin (SAWC) project participants together to hear about each project’s efforts and find ways to collaborate.
Severe weather warnings, a tornado watch, and hail welcomed participants to Alpine Monday evening, but the sunny skies, moderate temperatures and nice breezes that began Tuesday morning continued throughout the rest of the week.
Administrators from the three participating university systems opened the conference discussions, which led into presentations by project members summarizing the various aspects of the overall efforts. Discussions were also held to determine additional needs that could be added to the projects as well as ways in which the two projects and their members could better work
A field tour to the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute followed the conference. Twenty-nine participants had the option to hike into the Modesta Canyon, tour the botanical gardens or hike to Clayton’s Overlook to view the geology exhibit.
The RGBI 2009-2010 Annual Accomplishment Report was released at this meeting. The report includes 72 pages of project accomplishments, outcomes, results, efforts and publications. This, the agenda, project descriptions, presentations and other materials are posted on the wrap-up website.
The RGBI, which began in 2001, is administered by the Texas Water Resources Institute and comprised of Texas AgriLife Research, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and New Mexico State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service. The SAWC project began in 2004 and is comprised of the Texas State University System, including Texas State University–San Marcos, Sul Ross State University, Sam Houston State University and Lamar University. Both projects are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture.