the questions posed in the previous section, research is needed
on both the science (social and biophysical) and policy domains.
Many of these studies will provide decision rules that will be of
value to various stakeholders. Such operating decisions might include,
for example, rules for the release of "appropriate" volumes
of water from reservoirs. Similarly, new nitrogen evaluation techniques
may permit farmers to make easy field by field calculations on the
(more nearly) optimum amounts of nitrogen fertilizer to use.
Discussion and communication
of these results to others in the Valley and beyond are also planned.
In the first instance, the knowledge created from this research
will be "co-produced"--the research team includes local
Mexican researchers as well as US participants, and includes farmers
and irrigation district managers as well as scientists and policy
analysts. We are well aware of the need to work with the broader
community of the Yaqui Basin to develop results and to identify
further needs. We propose to accomplish this through small workshops
and by teaming with other groups to organize a Valley-wide conference
on sustainable development.
Workshops that bring
together researchers, farmers, water district personnel, and planning
officials from Cuidad Obregon will occur twice during the three-year
project. We will build on the experience and contacts of Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio
and CIMMYT in organizing these workshops. Both will focus on issues
related to cropping systems, fertilizer management, salinity issues,
variability in yield, water management, and water allocation issues.
In the first workshop, results of preliminary research will be discussed
and hypothetical decision rules and their implications will be explored
with attendees. In the following workshop, to be held near the end
of the three years, the research team will present final results
of research, propose decision rules, and identify issues of concern
for future emphasis. We expect that the one-day workshops will draw
40-50 attendees in addition to the research team.
We will also begin the
process of organizing a cross-Valley conference on sustainable development.
Although financial support for the conference is not requested in
this proposal, we have been assured by Mexican institutions operating
in the Valley that they would serve as co-hosts. These organizations
include INIFAP, CIMMYT, the Patronato, CIMMYT, CECARENA, CNA, and
ITSON. Because of the serious and long-term nature of Stanford involvement
in the Valley, we foresee no difficulties in helping to organizing
a major conference similar in many respect to the April 2000 Conference
organized by INIFAP on "Restructuring Valley Agriculture."
The foregoing kinds of
activities, while slightly more activist and policy oriented than
much of Stanford's research, are well known to members of our group
and other groups on campus. To push further along the information
advocacy continuum raises interesting challenges-not necessarily
to be avoided simply because they are challenging. Several members
of the Stanford team have had long experience working inside governments
as policy advisers, and talent thus exists within the proposed project
to become more engaged in policy processes.
We propose a modest step
toward advocacy and in making the results of the project more policy
relevant. Relevant policy actors are at three levels of government:
the federal government in Mexico City, the state government in Sonora,
and the regional government in Cd. Obregon. Various project members
have excellent access at all three levels. Our plan is, therefore,
to meet regularly with key policy makers in three areas: water,
agriculture and the environment at each level of government; to
involve local collaborators in those discussion whenever possible;
to be selective in the items taken to policy makers for discussion;
and to be responsive (within reason!) to the questions and interests
of policy makers taken away from those meetings. Our efforts will
be modest and low key, but nonetheless much more development and
policy-oriented than in previous Stanford projects in the Valley.