Optimizing Crop Mixtures to Enhance Food Security/Environmental Flows in Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Basin
This session was part of the 2023 Water for Food Global Conference held May 8-11, 2023 in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
As climate change and recurring droughts reduce water availability in the western US, the sustainability of both irrigated farming and river ecosystems will require substantial reductions in agricultural water use. We assessed water conservation strategies for the Rio Grande-Rio Bravo basin – where farms consume more than 80% of river flows – that can sustain agricultural productivity and farm revenues while bolstering diminished environmental flows. Our evaluation suggests that a combination of crop shifts and permanent or temporary fallowing of some farmland can lead to a more economically and ecologically secure future. Financial incentives and technical assistance will be needed to drive the necessary transformation of the farm landscape.
Enrique Prunes – Rio Grande/Bravo Manager & Freshwater Lead Specialist, World Wildlife Fund US (WWF)
Brian Richter – President, Sustainable Waters and Senior Freshwater Fellow, World Wildlife Fund
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