Natural Resources, Border Issues, and Local Economics: Navigating Regional Economies in a Time of Change
Oct. 21-24, 2017 • Hotel Andaluz • Albuquerque, New Mexico
The Southwest has benefited historically from rich mineral deposits that have supported mining and extractive industries. Oil and gas continue to be the lifeblood of many communities. But the future of this arid region depends critically on the availability of water. What does the future hold for major rivers like the Colorado and for the underground water supplies that have supported agriculture and sustained local communities? While we in New Mexico worry about water scarcities, elsewhere the climate change may be manifested in heavy storms and winds, as has been seen this hurricane season. How can our states and our communities mitigate the effects of climate change?
In New Mexico, the dynamics of shared resources and climate change can be further complicated by the border issues – between states, as in the Texas water lawsuit against New Mexico over groundwater pumping, and between countries, with the U.S. this month finally coming to an agreement with Mexico to conserve Colorado River water. Throughout the conference, we will hear from speakers who carefully examine the evidence regarding changes in our natural environment and elucidate the challenges posed for state and local economies, including those that are neighbors on different sides of a border.
Keynote speakers included John Fleck, director of The University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program and author of the book,