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Nevada University Gets $4.97Mln to Study Changing Snowpack

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The University of Nevada, Reno has received a grant of $4.97 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study changing snowpack.

The grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will be used to lead a major research effort to understand mountain snowpack changes which are altering water availability in arid western United States.

The University of Nevada, Reno will be leading the research program in collaboration with Arizona State University, Colorado State University, Desert Research Institute, and Northern Arizona University.

“Water is our most precious resource and finding solutions for dealing with water scarcity and quality is critical for communities across the U.S. who grow and raise the food we eat,” Director NIFA Director Tom Shanower said.

“By investing in projects that address a critical problem for American agriculture, we aim to find better tools and technologies for water management practices that make a difference for our farmers, ranchers, and foresters.”

The research will aim at bringing scientific focus to the changes, study the basins in the arid West that are at risk and how effective are the existing water allocation laws and regulation in managing the changes.

“The impacts of changing mountain snowmelt on water rights holders are profound,” Kim Rollins, project director and professor at the university, said.

“Decision-making can be improved with a better understanding of how changes in water flows influence agriculture producer decision-making and how laws and regulations can exacerbate or relieve constraints imposed by these changes,” Rollins added.

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