Water Resources and Salinity Management in the Far West Texas Grant uri icon


  • Water scarcity and salinity are the major challenges confronting sustainable development in many arid and semi-arid regions of the world (Szabolcs, 1989; Horney et al., 2005). Irrigation in arid areas, along with improved productivity, has also been the cause of extensive salinization (Khan et al., 2006). Best available estimates indicate that worldwide about 1030 million hectares and 30% of the land in the conterminous USA suffer from varying degrees of salinity and sodicity (FAO and ITPS 2015; Tanji and Wal-lender 2012). Nearly 73% of the irrigated area in Rio Grande basin is affected by salinity and sodicity (Ghassemi et al., 1995). Salinity of Rio Grande has long been recognized as a major water-quality problem throughout the basin (Levings et al., 1998). Often Rio Grande salinity and sodicity exceeds limits considered safe for irrigating sensitive crops (Ayers and Westcot, 1985; USIBWC, 2002; Moyer et al., 2009). Salinity and sodicity problems in the region have resulted in reduction in irrigated acreage, shift in cropping pattern from high value horticulture crop (chilies onion to low value fiber or forage crops (cotton, sudangrass), and loss in productivity of soils and farm profitability (Miyamoto et al., 1995). It is therefore important to manage soil and water salinity to reduce adverse impacts on agriculture and urban sectors for the economic and environmental well being of the region.Many arid regions affected by salinity are also regions that are facing increasing water scarcity (Qadir and Oster, 2004). Nowhere it is more evident than in El Paso region which covers parts of Dona Ana county, New Mexico, Ciudada Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso county in Texas. Water demands are increasing in the region, driven largely by rapid population and economic growth (Paso del Norte Water Task Force, 2001). Precipitation contributes little to the water availability and major source of irrigation (~80%) is Rio Grande..........

date/time interval

  • 2018 - 2023