Research Center

Research Center (Center fact sheet)

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at El Paso

The El Paso Center located in arid Far West Texas serves a region that is unique in climate, geography, water resources, urban and agricultural development, demographics and culture. An urban center in the Chihuahuan Desert, El Paso is the sixth-largest city in Texas with 700,000 people and is home to 96 percent of the population of Far West Texas. The 7,200 feet high Franklin Mountain State Park divides El Paso into east and west sides. The Fort Bliss Military Reservation adjoins El Paso to the northeast, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, with a population of 1.3 million, lies across the Rio Grande to the south. Agriculture is concentrated along the Rio Grande in the upper and lower El Paso valleys. Among the most important needs for agriculture and for urban residents is a reliable, adequate, and safe water supply. Rapid regional growth, competition for existing water, environmental issues, and frequent drought underscore the urgency for finding and implementing effective water solutions. El Paso Center scientists are working in partnership with irrigation districts, agriculture sectors, water utilities, other universities, government agencies, private industry, and the public to address these needs.

The El Paso Center is internationally recognized for its research in groundwater and surface water management, crop and landscape plants, soil and water salinity management and reclaimed-water use, conservation program effectiveness, integrated river basin management and evaluation of the economic impacts of technology and policy changes. Center scientists work closely with El Paso Water Utilities, The University of Texas at El Paso, New Mexico State University, and federal and state agencies on water-use technologies and water quality research. They also work with scientists in Mexico, China, Japan, Chile, Egypt, Qatar, Israel, Palestine, Algeria, India and other countries. The Center is a lead in the three-state, binational United States–Mexico Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program to address challenges of shared water resources in the Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico border region.

Facilities include 11 buildings with 65,000 square feet of space including laboratories with extensive analytic equipment, 200 seat auditorium, classroom, offices, video conference room and five greenhouses.

El Paso Center Facilities – two locations.

Research offices and laboratories are at two locations, in El Paso at I-10 and Loop 375 on a 44 acre site and in Socorro on a 190 acre site.

El Paso — 44 acres of land donated by John and Betty McGuire, K. B. Ivey Investment Company, and Charles and Mary Gaither with facilities built in 1976 including offices, laboratories with extensive analytic equipment, 200-seat auditorium, classroom, videoconference center, and five greenhouses; urban water-conservation landscape garden, and award-winning cactus garden.

Socorro — 190 acre research station established in 1942 in Socorro, Texas on land donated by El Paso County. The land is used to produce pima cotton and pecans. A new building was built in 1986 with offices and chemical analyses and hydraulic laboratories.

International On-Site Wastewater Treatment Training Center


The training center provides for the training requirements needed by wastewater industry professionals and regulators. It is also here to show the general public what options are available when selecting an on site system to treat household generated liquid and solid waste while responsibly meeting health and environmental requirements.

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