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University of New Mexico (2013)

Salinity of the lower middle Rio Grande, Socorro County, New Mexico

Rehder, Belle T.

Titre : Salinity of the lower middle Rio Grande, Socorro County, New Mexico

Auteur : Rehder, Belle T.

Université de soutenance : University of New Mexico

Grade : Master of Water Resources 2013

Résumé partiel
Found approximately in the geographic middle of New Mexico, Socorro County is an agricultural community that relies on the Rio Grande as the major source of water for irrigation. The Rio Grande is used throughout the region for agricultural, industrial, domestic-municipal consumption, recreation and riparian vegetation, as well as for the protection of endangered species found in the environment. Salinity, a concern for all users, has been studied throughout the Rio Grande from Colorado to the Mexico border. Previous research suggests that salinity may increase through irrigation practices, municipal and industrial uses, evapotranspiration, climatic changes, and natural geologic processes and weathering of minerals. This study examines salinity variability in river and irrigation water through the Socorro region, from late February to November ; within the time that irrigation water is diverted by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, and delivered to agricultural lands through a series of canals and diversions. The study reach extends from the San Acacia Diversion Dam, north of Socorro, where irrigation for agriculture is supplied by the surface and groundwater return flows from the Unit 7 Drain and runs south for approximately 44 kilometers to San Antonio, NM, near the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. The Low Flow Conveyance Channel (LFCC) is found directly west of the river and is hydrologically connected through ground water seepage to the river in areas where the river bed is higher than the valley floor, and through diversions to the drain and irrigation systems. The Riverside drain is found west of the LFCC, between the irrigation canals and farms, and LFCC, drawing off excess water from agricultural fields. Salinity of the Rio Grande, LFCC, drains, and the irrigation canal flows were measured semi-monthly, both preseason and throughout the irrigation season from February 28 to November 10, 2011. Regional flows of the Rio Grande, within the Socorro region between San Acacia and San Antonio, NM, were compared to associated salinity within this time frame. Seasonality accounted for the greatest salinity variations. Electroconductivity (EC), as well as alkalinity, in general, rose over time along the study reach.

Mots clés : Socorro County Rio Grande salinity San Acacia Diversion Dam San Antonio, NM


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