USDA funds CSU Team for 3 Year Project in Colorado's Arkansas River Valley


Lower Arkansas River Valley Vista

The USDA NIFA National Integrated Water Quality Program (NIWQP) is funding a 3-yrs project for $659,955 entitled “Water Quality and Productivity Enhancement in an Irrigated River Basin through Participatory Conservation Planning and Analysis.” Dr. Timothy Gates is the Project Director (PD) and Dr. John Labadie, Dr. Ryan Bailey, and Dr. Dana Hoag (Agricultural and Natural Resources Economics) are Co-PDs.

 

This project’s goal is to identify and rank conservation practices that will sustain agricultural productivity and benefit the environment by lowering return flows and pollutant (salt and selenium) loads to the stream-aquifer system of Colorado’s Lower Arkansas River Basin. A major obstacle to using these methods in western irrigated river valleys is the requirement that altered streamflow patterns cannot violate water rights or interstate river compacts. Calibrated regional and basin scale flow and solute transport models will be used to find effective conservation scenarios that satisfy socioeconomic and institutional constraints in the river basin. The project will involve extensive advisory stakeholder and student participation.