New Mexico and Colorado are about to enter Rio Grande Compact Article VII restrictions. That means Elephant Butte, the big reservoir down south, is too low, and we’re prohibited from upstream storage. The meat:
In flirting with Rio Grande Compact restrictions, New Mexico finds itself in what has become a familiar situation, with the state’s water supplies barely able to cover agricultural and municipal needs.
That is very different from the period from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. A wetter climate, combined with a smaller population and lower demands, meant Elephant Butte had twice as much water as needed to prevent the compact’s drought restrictions.