New Mexico Water eNews


February 2018

While working on his NM WRRI funded project, NMSU engineering student Garrett Gibson became familiar with data loggers and other equipment used on weather stations. The Gherardi weather station, located in south Albuquerque, is one of seven weather stations Gibson maintained.

NMSU Civil Engineering Student Inspected and Maintained Climate Stations
by Catherine Ortega Klett, NM WRRI Program Manager

NMSU civil engineering undergraduate Garrett Gibson received an NM WRRI Student Water Research Grant to study meteorological data measured by seven climate stations located from south of Albuquerque to Sunland Park, New Mexico. He worked with faculty advisor Dr. Salim Bawazir, also of NMSU’s Department of Civil Engineering.

According to Gibson, during the last few years, the climate stations in the Middle and Lower Rio Grande have deteriorated due to lack of proper maintenance. As part of his study, Gibson assessed the condition of the climate stations; conducted maintenance; analyzed historical data collected by the weather stations; and collected data for 2016-2017. Data collected included solar radiation, air and soil temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and precipitation. The collected data were used as parameters for the calculation of evapotranspiration (ET) referenced to grass for 2016 and 2017 using the ASCE Standardized ET method.

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New Mexico State University Water Resources Research Institute's new website, Center
for the Development and Use of Alternative Water Supplies
, launched in January 2018
and includes information about the collaborative partnership between NMSU and the Bureau of Reclamation. (NMSU News Center courtesy photo)

New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute Launches New Website
by Ximena Tapia, New Mexico State University News Center

New Mexico State University’s Water Resources Research Institute launched a new website, Center for the Development and Use of Alternative Water Supplies, in January 2018. It includes information about the collaborative partnership between NMSU and the Bureau of Reclamation that is administered by NM WRRI.

The purpose behind the website is to “provide the community and researchers with information and resources on the cooperative agreement between NMSU and the Bureau of Reclamation,” said NM WRRI Program Coordinator Avery Olshefski. The cooperative agreement is a five-year research effort that aims to increase scientific knowledge in the area of alternative water characterization, treatment and use for water supply sustainability in New Mexico and the western U.S. through collaborative research, student education and community workshops. Reclamation and NMSU are currently working together under their second cooperative agreement, which began in 2016 and funds nine research efforts with NMSU faculty and students.

The ongoing research under the current agreement includes topics such as technology improvements to reduce fouling in membranes and concentrate handling as well as improved chemical analysis methods for brackish groundwater research.

Visit the website to learn more about the innovative technology in development, meet the research faculty and students who are conducting promising research that has the potential to make a substantial impact on water availability, see the various facilities where this research is conducted and learn how to get involved in community workshops. To visit the website, go to

During a field trip of Dr. Sam Fernald's Watershed Management Class (Range 318 & 518)
to the Leyendecker Plant Science Center, Kevin Boyko gave a brief field lecture about the weather station. Students had just used data from this station to calculate Reference ET (evapotranspiration, not extraterrestial) in their lab assignment.

Meet the Researcher

Kevin Boyko, New Mexico State University
by Catherine Ortega Klett, NM WRRI Program Manager

Currently a master’s degree student in New Mexico State University’s Water Science & Management Program, Kevin Boyko is also a research assistant with NM WRRI. His research involves creating water budgets and estimating groundwater recharge in flood-irrigated alfalfa fields in southern New Mexico. Boyko focuses on field measurements, and his research is contributing to several ongoing efforts including NM WRRI’s Statewide Water Assessment (SWA); the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Project (TAAP), a federally funded regional project; and a USDA Rio Grande Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Coordinated Agricultural Project (AFRI CAP). These projects provide recharge, evapotranspiration, and climate data to New Mexico and Rio Grande watersheds.

Kevin was born in Caracas, Venezuela, but grew up primarily in St. Petersburg, FL where his family relocated when he was seven years old. He received a BS in environmental geology from Northeastern University in Boston, with a focus on geohydrology. During his undergraduate years, he took a hiatus from his studies to work for NM WRRI in 2013 and was stationed in northern New Mexico at the Agricultural Research Center in Alcalde. Here he spent eight months collecting flow data from stream and irrigation ditches, and maintaining equipment for several projects based out of NMSU.

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DWPR Applications Due May 1, 2018

The Bureau of Reclamation has released a funding opportunity through its Desalination and Water Purification Research Program for fiscal year 2018. This funding opportunity invites private industry, universities, water utilities, and other research sponsors to submit proposals to cost share laboratory scale and pilot scale projects that address DWPR program goals and objectives.

This funding opportunity will support laboratory scale projects as well as pilot scale projects. Separate evaluation criteria and funding will be applied to each group.

Individuals, institutions of higher education, commercial and industrial organizations, private entities, state and local governments, federally funded research and development centers, tribal governments and organizations, United States-Mexico binational research foundations and inter-university research programs, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.

Visit and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F002. To learn more about Reclamation’s Desalination and Water Purification Research Program please visit

The June 2018 conference includes a Call for Abstracts and Papers on topics related to the theme of the conference. Topics for the 2018 conference include all water quality issues facing the Animas and San Juan watersheds. Other particularly relevant topics include the following:

•  Geology, minerology, ore bodies and natural sources of contamination
•  Analysis of Animas and San Juan watersheds as a result of Gold King Mine
•  Effects of acid mine drainage after more than a century of mining
•  Effects of historical mill-waste discharges
•  Effects of historical spill events
•  Effects of the Gold King Mine spill
•  Differentiating geologic and legacy mining and milling contaminants from
    Gold King Mine spill contaminants
•  Transport and fate of mining and milling contaminants in the Animas and
    San Juan watersheds
•  Contaminant uptake into the food web
•  Mining and milling contaminant impacts on surface water, sediment,
    groundwater, agriculture, livestock, wildlife, and humans
•  Long-term monitoring
•  Existing corrective measures to control mine seepage and hydraulic
•  Options for additional source control, spill prevention, and remediation
•  E. coli, nutrients, and other non-mining pollutants
•  Streamflow and water quality sensitivity to climate change
•  Groundwater and surface-water geochemistry and their interaction with
    the hyporheic zone

Visit the NM WRRI conference website at: for abstract guidelines. All abstracts must be submitted online using the provided abstract form.


APRIL 13, 2018: Environmental Geology and Hydrology, New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting, Macey Center, NM Tech Campus, Socorro NM (Abstracts due by March 30)

APRIL 29 – MAY 1, 2018: 2018 Next Generation Water Summit, Santa Fe Community Convention Center, Santa Fe NM

JUNE 19 - 22, 2018: Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan Watersheds: Past, Present and Future; San Juan College, Farmington NM (Abstracts due April 13)

OCTOBER 17 - 18, 2018: At the Tipping Point: Water Scarcity, Science, and Policy; Las Cruces Convention Center, Las Cruces NM website coming soon

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