Saturday, 15 July 2006

Impact of Intensified Agriculture Practices in the Nazas-Aguanaval Watershed, Northern Mexico.

Jose L. Gonzalez Barrios1, Luc Descroix2, Juan Estrada Avalos1, Rodolfo Jasso Ibarra1, Ignacio Sanchez Cohen1, Guillermo Gonzalez Cervantes1, and Ignacio Orona Castillo1. (1) INIFAP, AP 225-3 ZI, Gomez Palacio DGO, 35071, Mexico, (2) IRD, BP 53, Grenoble, 38041, France

The Nazas-Aguanaval watershed is an endoreic basin covering 92000 square kilometers located in the North of Mexico. This watershed is divided into three main zones which are related to climate, altitude, geological features, vegetation and soil and water resources. The history of intensive agriculture practices began at the first half of the twenty century when land use changes took place to increase crop and animal production. In the last fifty years the economical development related to agriculture and food industry has been spectacular in this region. However this development has impacted negatively the soil and water resources by increasing pollution and decreasing their quality. This work presents the main impacts of intensified agriculture practices in the Nazas-Aguanaval watershed from irrigated crops to cattle and poultry production. Remediation alternatives are proposed in order to encourage soil and water conservation as well as to promote sustainable development in this region. Key words: Intensive agriculture and environment, land use change, soil and water conservation.

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