Maximizing Farm Water To Negate Agricultural Drought in New Mexico

Team: 30

School: Manzano High

Area of Science: Geology, and Engineering

Interim: Maximizing Farm Water To Negate Agricultural Drought in New Mexico

Team Number: 30
Team Members: Israel Leonardo Chirino
Teachers: Karen Glennon
Sharee Lunsford
Sponsors: Patty Meyer
David Gensler
Stephen Guerin

Area Of Science: Ecology, and Engineering

Definition of Problem:
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, drought is always pushed to the back of our minds and forgotten until the next threat. Our question is based on how we can maximize agricultural water to negate threats of drought in New Mexico. Spoken have spoken with the MRGCD (Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District) who work on solving this very question every day, we both believe that the most efficacious way to solve this is to refine the system we utilize to distribute and store our water. To, in fact, automate the distribution of our agricultural water to and in our farms while also following all rules and regulations. Clarify that this is an individual solution or does it correspond to water rights via irrigation ditches.

Problem Solution:
Using water recklessly in an agricultural environment would not only limit the amount of water other parts of the city get but also the crop yield at the end of the harvest. Our main solution is to create water efficiency and conservancy. One of the ways we can do this is through automation, ( For example, an advanced drip system, or even a sprinkler system that would know when to begin and stop watering. Is this something they need to purchase? What about golf courses?, ) many organizations like the MRGCD, already have the tools to implement this, but farmers shy from this idea in fear of losing their jobs due to the fact automation would take the importance of having a human ever-present on the fields. By utilizing more water they may even have less harvest. With automation, we could utilize less water or utilize it for other things.
Progress to date:
We have a concrete understanding of the movement of the water throughout New Mexico like the laws in place, dam usage, and water irrigation. We have exact amounts of how much water moves through dams, rivers, and etc. We also learned of laws concerning water rights for an area of land, mostly how much of the water that moves through our state is actually meant for other states. We plan on implementing these things into our final project to really have the clearest picture possible.

Coding Plan:
We expect to code a model exhibiting how the automation of the farms will lessen the gallons of water used but also increase our harvest (We will graph these results). To do this we hope to use NetLogo since it’s the language we are most comfortable with. It’ll basically be a row of plants all being changed by our variables (Water and Sunlight).

Expected Results:
By the end of this school year, we would hope to have spoken with more experts on this matter, as well as being fully aware of all the laws, and complications water has in New Mexico. I personally would also like to teach myself how to not waste that much water, as it will help my cause.

Works Cited

Australia, Animals. “The Biggest Cause of Global Warming That Scientists Need You to Know About.” Animals Australia, 8 Nov. 2018,

Bureau of Reclamation. “Upper Colorado Region - Albuquerque Area Office.” Albuquerque Area Office | Upper Colorado Region,

“For a Kinder World.” Animals Australia,

Gensler, David. Personal Interview. 19, Nov. 2019. MRGCD main offices 1931 2nd SW
Albuquerque, NM, 87012

“List of Rio Grande Dams and Diversions.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 Oct. 2019,

“New Mexico.” New Mexico |, 20 Sept. 2019,

Nierenberg, Danielle, et al. “Meat's Large Water Footprint: Why Raising Livestock and Poultry for Meat Is so Resource-Intensive.” Food Tank, 27 Nov. 2016,

Office of the State Engineer.” Contacts - New Mexico Office of the State Engineer / Interstate Stream Commission,

Team Members:

  Israel Chirino

Sponsoring Teacher: Karen Glennon

Mail the entire Team