In New Mexico, drought is a life and death situation for farmers and ranchers. Even irrigated crops fall well below yield expectations during years of severe persistent drought. It was the drastic droughts of the 1950s in this region that made water delivery one of the key engineering challenges in this state.
But not all regions have adequate storage or water delivery systems. Water loss is high, simply in moving irrigation water down open canals for long distances. New Mexico State University is working with water users throughout the state to help improve efficiency and management of valuable water resources.