When The Water Dries Up: Strategies for Implementing Riparian Restoration Projects Without Water  

 Katelyn Cary1*, Linnea Spears-Lebrun2*, Tony Somers3, and Sharif Durzi4

1SWCA, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

2SWCA, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

3SWCA, Amherst, Massachusetts, United States

4SWCA, Denver, Colorado, United States


This presentation will discuss the planning and implementation strategies used to restore a private agricultural easement adjacent to the Rio Grande River in Socorro, New Mexico, that relies exclusively on overbank flooding events for regenerating historic riparian plant communities.  In addition to facing a diminishing annual water supply and increasing variability of overbank flood events, other restoration challenges include non-native species removal, increasing soil salinity, threatened and endangered species habitat, and devising a climate resilient plant palette. Attendees will learn about the strategies used in decision making, data collection, hydrologic modeling, implementation methods, and more as we navigate restoration planning without a reliable water source.  


Aerial Footage Video