In drought-plagued areas of the desert southwest, partnership efforts like those in New Mexico’s Rio Grande and Comanche Creek watersheds can improve water sustainability, and, in turn, water availability. Marcus Selig of the National Forest Foundation says such collaboration between his organization, the U.S. Forest Service, Trout Unlimited, and Intel, is doing just that through wetland and stream channel restoration.
“This work is really returning water to its natural systems, and increasing water reliability by increasing storage within the stream and the areas surrounding the stream. So we’re actually rewetting wetlands and meadows that will hold water and release it slowly over time to downstream users in the Rio Grande watershed,” Selig said.
Increasing available water supplies downstream to both smaller communities and metropolitan areas like Albuquerque.
“We’re expecting that we’re going to be returning millions of gallons of water to natural systems in the Rio Grande Watershed.”