A Trans-boundary Case Study of Water Conserving Agricultural Practices in the South Rio Grande Basin

Margaret Morris, Amy McFarland, Tina M. Waliczek, Laura Stroup

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to explore the factors influencing agricultural use of water within the Southern Rio Grande River Basin.  A case study approach was used and study areas included arid to semi-arid climatic regions in both Texas and Mexico such as Quemado, Texas in Maverick County, and three Coahuila, Mexico agricultural communities: Santa Maria, Madero del Rio, and Purisima in Piedras Negras municipos.  Interviews of producers were conducted by the primary investigator.  Qualitative analysis of responses included tallying and classifying data collected to create themes. Ideas collected contribute to understanding the implementation of water conservation practices in this region. Results showed that while these communities were practicing some water conservation methods, irrigation-related conservation seemed to be limited, perhaps due to the public nature of water in Mexico.  Increased governmental incentives, education and research could help to make agriculture along the Rio Grande more efficient and sustainable in terms of irrigation. 


Keywords


Mexico; U.S. border; semiarid regions; comparative analysis; conservation practices; sustainable agriculture; organic agriculture; environment

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