Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Paso del Norte Watershed Council Annual Meeting
Southwest Region, November 14, 2005
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The Paso del Norte Watershed Council met November 14, 2005 to discuss last year's accomplishments and activities for 2006.  The mission of the Council is to investigate, develop, and recommend options for watershed planning and management and to explore how water related resources can best be balanced to benefit the Rio Grande ecosystem and the interests of all watershed stakeholders.  The watershed includes the Rio Grande drainage in southern New Mexico and Texas from Elephant Butte Dam to Fort Quitman, Texas.

During the year the Council met with the El Paso Irrigation District, representatives of the North Valley Regional Water and Wastewater Treatment Project and various other organizations concerned with ecosystem health and economic sustainability.  The Council provided input into activities of the International Boundary and Water Commission along the Rio Grande.  A coordinated database was further developed for the watershed that is accessible through the internet that includes a GIS containing irrigation and gauging station information.  The Council developed a proposal for a 319 Grant with the Environmental Protection Agency to address water quality impairments in the New Mexico portion of the Rio Grande watershed, with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture volunteering to take the lead on the fiscal portion of the proposal.  The World Wildlife Fund is working with the Council to develop a scope for a biological management plan for the watershed.  The Council website was expanded and improved during the year.  Records of activities and meetings are recorded in the website:  http://pdnwc.org.

Activities for the next year include further development of the hydrology database, explore opportunities to develop a biological database, initiate education programs and support on-the-ground restoration.

The New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office actively participates on the Executive Committee for the Council.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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