The Rio Grande at Albuquerque’s Central Avenue bridge dropped to 200 cubic feet per second overnight, perfect timing for this morning’s newspaper piece about low flows on the river (sub/ad req). For those not versed in our obscure ways of water measurement, “200 cfs” translates roughly as “awful damn low”:
Water agencies are scrambling to find enough water to keep the Rio Grande wet through Albuquerque after the river dropped last week to its lowest level in six years.
The discussions reflect a new reality on the middle Rio Grande, as the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority diverts increasing amounts of water from the river to provide drinking water for the metro area.
This is the sort of problem that exposes the weaknesses in New Mexico’s water accounting and management practices, about which I’ll have much more to say.