Last week, I attended the Western RC&D Conference in New Mexico. Although it sounds like fun (yes it was), it was a great learning and growing experience for the Northern Rocky Mountain RC&D. We have made great connections to a network of RC&D councils to help support new projects, ideas, and innovative thinking. It amazed me as the New Mexico Director of The Department of Agriculture, Jeff Whitt, spoke about current issues they face in the upcoming years with water shortage, crop selection, and the future of agriculture in their region. A fact the stuck in my head is that the City of Albuquerque touted about their water reduction in the local paper. Jeff was quick to point that average residential homes with a density of about 10 homes per acre are using 6 acre-feet of water per year. The average farm is required to use under 3 acre feet for normal crops and 4 acre feet for some specialty crops. His point: why are we blaming farmers to reduce their water use (our food supply) when the city culture is consistently consuming 30-50% more water per acre! A point well taken.
I also attended many great workshop on forestry and the importance of watersheds. Both extremely important. My goal is to better support our localized efforts and use the new resources I developed during this conference to get projects on the ground. Check out the Western RC&D page for new updates on a regional level.