. Sandia Water Model Considered by Panamanian Officials
Susan Kelly, associate director of the Utton Transboundary Re- sources Center, provided details of a hydrologic model that can help
predict future water supplies at a September conference in Panama City, Panama.
The conference, which focused on the wide varieties of techniques currently used in the United States to address water and environ- mental conflicts, was sponsored by the Evans Center, an alternative dispute resolution center at South Texas College of Law. The Panamanian government is planning to create an international dispute resolution center to address issues ranging from maritime shipping disputes to water and natural resource conflicts in Latin America.
The center will be located at the City of Knowledge, an internation- al technology park, located in the Panama Canal Zone. This “city”, formerly a U.S. military base, was turned over to Panama as part of the Panama Canal Zone reversion, which took place in 2000. The reversion gave Panama independent control of the Panama Canal and surrounding area, which includes roads, airports, hospitals, community
centers and residential housing formerly occupied by U.S. military personnel and canal administrators.
The model Kelly presented originally was created by Sandia National Laboratories to aid discussion of a water management plan for the Middle Rio Grande. Utton Center staff helped organize meetings and comments from the many people involved in developing the model.
“The development of the model served as a form of conflict resolution in that the process gave stakeholders from different perspectives a forum to discuss issues in a productive manner,” she says. “They were able to reach agreement on many facts and better understand diverse viewpoints.”
The Panama Canal’s system of locks uses only fresh water, 52 million gallons of water every time a ship passes through, to be precise. Water administrators are concerned about municipal drinking water supplies, along with environmental and economic impacts, says Kelly, which is why they are interested in how the Sandia hydrologic model could help them predict the canal’s impact on their water supplies.
Center Joins with Sandia Labs on Energy-Water Project
The Utton Center has begun working with Sandia National Laboratories on a project that is looking at the mutual dependence of water and energy
“A lot of people don’t realize how connected they are,” says Mike Hightower, a scientist at Sandia. “We are seeing a growth of energy in the U.S. for electric power generation, ethanol production and refining petroleum products, all of which require water. At the same time, we are seeing a reduction in available fresh water supplies. These are two train wrecks ready to occur.”
To address this growing problem, he has begun working on a strategy called the Energy-Water Nexus (www.sandia.gov/energy-water
). Naturally, his concentration focuses on science and technology issues, such as developing better technologies for electric generation and more efficient processes and materials
Utton Center and IPL Review State Statutes
The Utton Center and Institute of Public Law (IPL) collaborated on a project for the Office of the State Engineer (OSE) to review the myriad statutes that authorize or govern water and wastewater systems in New
Specifically, Utton Center and IPL staff members developed a series of charts summarizing and comparing the laws on the different systems while the OSE staff members prepared a companion chart on funding sources
for system financing.
The study was done in cooperation with the New Mexico Environ- ment Department and the New Mexico Rural Water Association. It was presented to the Legislature’s Interim Committee on Water and Natural Resources and New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee in
“This was a formidable task as there are close to 20 different statutory forms for these systems, all of which provide varying degrees of statutory power and responsibility,” says Judy Flynn O’Brien of IPL.
But he knows that science and technology alone won’t prevent a train wreck. Because of legal and policy issues that surround the regulation of water resources, he turned to the Utton Center for assistance in identifying constraints and incentives related to technology implementation. Three regional workshops are planned to gather information on different areas’ water needs.
Hightower also recognizes the need for collaboration among differing interests.
“We will compile the information we gather and develop a tem- plate for the assessment of issues that would affect putting into place new technologies,” says Marilyn O’Leary, director of the Utton Center. “This project also furthers our mission of preventive diplomacy: promoting collaboration and good management practices and thus reducing conflicts over water needs.”
Susan Kelly Analyzes Reservoir Storage
Susan Kelly, associate director of the Utton Transboundary Resources Center, is representing the center on a water management subcommit- tee of the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Act Collaborative Program, a federally funded consortium of river water managers, universities, environmentalists, pueblo representatives and federal agencies.
The consortium is working to improve water management in the middle Rio Grande region, both meeting the needs of water users and improving the status of endangered species in compliance with the Rio Grande Compact. Issues being looked at include irrigation efficiency and how surface and groundwater interact.
Kelly spearheaded a preliminary reservoir storage modeling analysis, which looked at various options for storage and management of water in the middle Rio Grande region. This analysis can be found on the Utton Center’s website.
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28