Some major problems in managing watersheds of the border region
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Some Major Problems In Managing Watersheds Of The Border Region. Dr. M. Karl Wood, Director Water Resources Research Institute New Mexico State University. The Border Region only has four major water problems!. 1. The water is in the wrong places.

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Some major problems in managing watersheds of the border region

Some Major Problems In Managing Watersheds Of The Border Region

Dr. M. Karl Wood, Director

Water Resources Research Institute

New Mexico State University


The border region only has four major water problems
The Border Region only has four major water problems!

1. The water is in the wrong places

2. The water is present at the wrong times

3. The water has the wrong quantities

Floods

Droughts

4. The water is the wrong quality


Some major problems in managing watersheds of the border region

These problems are mostly

the result of natural conditions

in the continent

These problems can be mitigated

or

made worse

by human activities


Problem 1

Problem # 1

Tree and Shrub Increase and Invasion in Uplands


Landscapes containing pinyon pines and junipers
Landscapes Containing Pinyon Pines and Junipers

Low lands Steep Hillsides Mesa Tops

Physiographic Positions


Pinyon pine and juniper
Pinyon pine and Juniper

  • Climax on steep, rocky hillsides

  • Invade lowlands & mesa tops by gravity, water, wind animals, etc

  • Controlled by fire in invaded areas until fire became scarce

  • Compete with grass-forb-shrub understory which results in extremely high erosion rates




Erosion after dominance
Erosion After Dominance

Amount of Erosion

Grassland Pinyon-Juniper Pinyon-JuniperDominated Invasion Established


Kinds of mismanagement
Kinds of Mismanagement!

  • Cessation of wildfire by fire suppression

  • Limiting use of shrub and tree control tools such as: a. Fuelwood harvest b. Mechanical removal c. Herbicide applications


Some major problems in managing watersheds of the border region

  • “If the prime objective is wood products, we may continue to overgraze, letting in the woodland and sacrificing watershed values

  • If on the other hand the prime objective is watersheds, we should restore the grass, which all the evidence indicates is a better watershed cover than either brush or woodland”

    Aldo Leopold


Problem 2
Problem # 2 to overgraze, letting in the woodland and sacrificing watershed values

Wildlife and Livestock Grazing

Mismanagement


Problem 3
Problem # 3 to overgraze, letting in the woodland and sacrificing watershed values

Riparian Area Mismanagement


Riparian areas tremendous importance
Riparian Areas: tremendous importance to overgraze, letting in the woodland and sacrificing watershed values

  • New Mexico receives 85 million acre-ft of precipitation each year

  • 3 million acre-ft lost through evapotranspiration

  • Half of water loss by evapotranspiration in some states

    is from riparian areas

  • Enriched plant & animal life

  • Most difficult ecosystem to research


Problem 4
Problem # 4 to overgraze, letting in the woodland and sacrificing watershed values

Lost Water Harvesting

Opportunities

Why? Establish Seed Banks


Problem 5
Problem # 5 to overgraze, letting in the woodland and sacrificing watershed values

Lack ofReclamation

on

Disturbed Land


Problem areas
Problem Areas: to overgraze, letting in the woodland and sacrificing watershed values

  • Exploration - hard rock

  • - oil & gas

  • Mined areas

  • Roaded areas

  • Recreation areas (ORV)


Problem 6
Problem # 6 to overgraze, letting in the woodland and sacrificing watershed values

Inadequate Methods for

Erosion and Runoff

Inventory and Prediction


Some major problems in managing watersheds of the border region

Land Management to overgraze, letting in the woodland and sacrificing watershed values

Practice

Animal Trampling

and Burrowing

Plant and Rock

Cover

Plant

Volume

Soil Surface

Configuration

Soil Surface

Roughness

Soil Moisture

Evaporative

Loss

Soil

Organic Matter

Content

Soil

Particle Sizes

Soil

Structure

Soil Bulk

Density and Porosity

Runoff and

Infiltration