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A research team that included Dr. Nicolás Pineda Pablos, professor of public policy studies at El Colegio de Sonora and a consultant on the NOAA grant, conducted approximately 35 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with water sector experts, including those responsible for development and implementation of the river basin councils in Sonora, members of the councils, and some who are observers of the river basin council process.
Research began in 2003 and final fieldwork was conducted in June 2006. The research process began with an extensive review of the international literature on river basin councils and integrated water resource management (IWRM) to help shape and formulate study objectives and questions. Subsequently, the research team conducted interviews in Hermosillo, Nogales (Sonora), Caborca, Ciudad Obregón, Navojoa, and Alamos. Interview subjects included National Water Commission (C.N.A.) officials, local water managers, academic water experts, local water and irrigation officials, members of river basin councils, and environmental groups.