|Heilman, Philip - Phil|
Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2008
Publication Date: 12/15/2008
Citation: Sanchez-Cohen, I., Moreno, J., Spring, U., Heilman, P., Barrios, J., Padilla, G., Valle, M. 2008. Integrated water management research in Mexico: Opportunity for North American collaboration. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 63(6): 212A-213A. Interpretive Summary: Many areas in Mexico suffer from water quality and quantity problems. To address these issues, a national effort to study water problems on a watershed basis is planned. The lead agency on the effort is the National Institute for Forestry, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Research of Mexico (INIFAP). This paper presents the national objectives of research, the scientific questions to be addressed, criteria used for decision making regarding national watersheds, the deliverables in short, medium, and long time scales. As both Canada and the United States have similar efforts, in Canada known as Watershed Evaluation of BMPs, and in the US as the Conservation Effects Assessment Program, interaction with these related projects is proposed.
Technical Abstract: Water availability and quality are critical issues in Mexico. In response, there is national interest in implementing a more coordinated, watershed-scale approach to understanding and managing water. High variability of rainfall patterns in both space and time is forcing decision makers to rely more on research results to plan agricultural activities under different climatic scenarios. As elsewhere, researchers in Mexico have to do more with less. The National Institute for Forestry, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Research of Mexico (INIFAP) has initiated a national effort to prioritize national water resources research on watersheds. At present, several criteria are being analyzed to select watersheds that will have high local impact, as well as building on recent research efforts, and being representative of similar regional issues. Our paradigm is integrated water management considering the hydrological gradient from highlands where more than 85% of the total available water is produced, down to irrigation districts where the water reserves are consumed and more that 70% of the value of agricultural production is generated.