Master Watershed Conservationist Introduction



The Lower Rio Grande River, situated in the tail end of the Rocky Mountains, is the lifeblood of the Mesilla Valley.   The Master Watershed Conservationist program is a volunteer based education program focusing on the river’s watershed from Caballo Dam to the New Mexico Texas border.  This region sustains a fertile agricultural industry, is a crossroads for a growing international trade zone with Mexico, home to the City of Las Cruces the state’s second largest city and home to the state’s Land Grant University, New Mexico State University.  A changing climate brings increasing temperatures, extended droughts, and diminishing water supplies that threaten our way of life.  The rapid changes demand an informed engaged citizenry to make the decisions necessary to conserve our water for current and future generations.


Equip citizens of New Mexico's lower Rio Grande River watershed with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions in the planning and management of the watershed.  Engage and empower volunteers to implement conservation projects that address one or more critical conservation issues of the New Mexico Lower Rio Grande watershed. Empower volunteers to engage in leadership roles and organize educational efforts that promote the stewardship of the New Mexico lower Rio Grande watershed.




1. Watershed & Watershed PlanningConnie MaxwellNM Water Resources and Research Institute
2. Weather, Climate, Droughts & FloodingJohn GwynnDona Ana County Flood Commission
3. Hydrology, Stream Processes and Ecology of the Southern NM Rio GrandeKurt Anderson & Nikki DictsonDona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District
4. Soils and Geologic ProcessesSteve KadasNRCS
5. Watershed Management & Water QualityRhonda Diaz, Peter Bennett & Zach LibbinCity of Las Cruces & Elephant Butte Irrigation District
6. Water Laws and RegulationsJosh SmithDona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District
7. Water Supply ManagementLeslie KryderSpring Rains Consulting
8. Working Together & Project IdeasCraig Fenske & Jerry SchickedanzDona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District NMSU
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