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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico Tech Hydrologist Leads Feb. 12 Water Lecture Series

LAS CRUCES - The effects of New Mexico's lingering drought will likely be felt for years as farmers deal with increasingly scarce water for irrigation, especially along the middle Rio Grande. A New Mexico State University water seminar Feb. 12 will provide answers to some of producers' questions about how best to manage available water.

Robert Bowman, director of the hydrology program at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, will speak Feb. 12 at New Mexico State University as part of its water lecture series. (01/28/2004) (Courtesy Photo from New Mexico Tech)

Robert Bowman, a nationally recognized hydrology expert, will speak at 3 p.m. in Room 105 of Wooton Hall, located on the western edge of campus.

"Our goal is to better understand the loss of water from the Rio Grande as it moves downstream to better manage that water," said Bowman, director of the hydrology program at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. "This is important for agriculture and cities, in addition to meeting interstate water compacts with Texas and Mexico."

Factors that affect river flow include the level of groundwater in the vicinity of the river, how fast water moves between the surface and underlying groundwater and the amount of vegetation along the river. "We need to understand how these affect one another in order to make predictions on river flow," he said.

Bowman's free, public seminar is part of a water lecture series from NMSU's Water Task Force, Water Resources Research Institute and the civil and geological engineering department.

"Dr. Bowman has worked for years to improve water quantity and quality issues in New Mexico," said task force coordinator Craig Runyan, a water quality specialist with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. "He certainly adds prestige to our water lecture series, and we're lucky to get him."

NMSU formed the task force in 2000 to supply objective, scientific data about water issues in New Mexico. Pulled from across NMSU, this group of specially identified faculty and staff members are experts in water-related issues, Runyan said. They provide rapid responses to public requests for studies, white papers, expert testimony at public hearings.

Prior to joining New Mexico Tech in 1987, Bowman worked as a soil scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He has served as a visiting professor with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technolog-Zürich. Bowman received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of California-Berkley and a doctorate in soil chemistry from NMSU.

For more information, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting, please contact Leeann DeMouche at (505) 646-3973 or ldemouch@nmsu.edu before the event.