This is August 2012 along the Duranes ditch in Albuquerque’s north valley. The ditch on the left is relatively new. The spur to the right, obscured by the sunflowers, has been in continuous use for more than 300 years. The previous 24 months for this climate division had been the second driest such stretch on record, going back to the 1890s. Yet water management decisions – storage of waster upstream for release during the depth of summer, importation of water via the San Juan-Chama Project from the Colorado River Basin, a distributary network that fans the river out across the Rio Grande Valley floor – made this spot cool and lush in the heat of a droughty summer.
What does this contribute to our understanding of “drought”?