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This project will evaluate and establish a benchmark for the environmental and ecological health of Walker Lake and Walker River. Decision tools will be developed to analyze the efficacy of different water acquisitions for improving future ecological integrity of Walker Lake and Walker River.
This project will identify the economic potential and cultural practices necessary for low-water-use crops with the aim of minimizing water use, soil erosion and evaporation from soil surfaces. In addition, the research will evaluate methods to re-establish desirable vegetation in areas that may be affected by changing agricultural practices and to anticipate vegetation responses under scenarios identified through modeling efforts.
This project will assess likely responses by soils and vegetation to changes in water application and use. Information on the impacts of changes in water table and stream elevation on soil physical and chemical properties, including wind erosion, nutrient cycling and salt accumulation, will aid managers in the preservation of air and water quality adjacent to and within the river and lake itself.
This project will provide an overview of the political and historical context in which the acquisition of land and associated water rights for ecosystem restoration in the Walker River system occurs. Key components include arid land agriculture, multi-state involvement and urban/rural interface issues.
This project will develop a set of recommendations to minimize further sediment and salt loading to Walker Lake and degradation to the lower Walker River under increased water flows. These recommendations will be made available to land and water managers to assess potential impacts resulting from variations in flow, water quality and channel geometry on the transport of sediments and on the flow capacity of the Walker River.
This project will develop a decision-support tool to evaluate the effectiveness of proposed acquisitions of water rights from willing sellers to increase water delivery to Walker Lake. The tool’s water flow model will include aspects of climate and evaporation from different water sources.
The project will determine the most economically effective use of water on agricultural lands and provide producers with an estimate of the potential amount of water rights they may be able to offer to the market for lease or sale.
This project will develop estimates of the economic impacts projected to occur from the acquisition of water rights and changes in agricultural production and land use. The project will also formulate economic development actions to mitigate the projected economic and fiscal dislocations. One benefit of this research will be to identify appropriate sustainable economic development actions and related public policy alternatives.
This project will develop a geographic information systems (GIS) framework for linking water rights with water distribution networks and points of diversion for the Walker Basin. The resulting GIS database may be used to assess how water and land acquisitions will affect the entire Walker Basin system. The economic component of this project will develop a GIS database of properties, businesses and local demographics in close proximity to the Walker River and its tributaries.
The project will determine which characteristics of wild horses and burros increase adoption rates. It will also investigate alternative auction procedures which could increase adoption rates and simultaneously increase revenues to support wild horse and burro programs.