Santa Fe, NM: Not like Cape Town

Julie Ann Grimm has a piece this week in the Santa Fe Reporter explaining Santa Fe’s approach to water management this year that’s a nice demonstration of why we don’t have incipient “Cape Town” situations (cities about to run out of water) in New Mexico: Groundwater wells that have mostly been resting on the city’s …

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Meanwhile, Texas is newly mad at New Mexico over water stuff

Not to be outdone by our neighbors in the Colorado River Basin to the west, here’s a letter from Texas Rio Grande Compact Commissioner Pat Gordon to New Mexico State Engineer Tom Blaine complaining that proposed water rights for a New Mexico copper mine would further cut into Texas’s share of the Rio Grande, a …

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The “anticommons” revisited: that time Phoenix tried to leave more water in Lake Mead

Ry Rivard, a reporter for Voice of San Diego who is part of the Colorado River journalism posse, had the most tweetable summary of the dustup within Arizona and among the seven Colorado River basin states:   Arizona has two internal factions. One of them wanted to work with other states to save water. The …

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Denver Water accuses Central Arizona Project of manipulating water orders to take more water from Lake Mead

Denver Water today joined state leaders in the Upper Colorado River Basin with a letter accusing the managers of the Central Arizona Project of manipulating water orders to get more water out of the Upper Basin’s reservoir at Lake Powell. The actions of the CAP’s managers “several compromise the trust and cooperation” needed to solve …

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On the U.S. part of the Rio Grande, the San Luis Valley is where most farming takes place

In water management, it’s normal to zero in on one’s local geography and not think about the larger system – especially when state lines carve up a watershed. Thus, faced with a terrible snowpack year on the Rio Grande, we’re having three largely separate conversations about agricultural water management on the U.S. part of the …

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Colorado River Upper Basin states accuse Central Arizona Project managers of threatening the health of the Colorado River system

Upper Colorado River Basin state leaders, in a letter Friday (April 13, 2018), said the water management approach being taken by the managers of the Central Arizona Project “threaten the water supply for nearly 40 million people in the United States and Mexico, and threaten the interstate relationships and good will that must be maintained …

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One of the worst years in a century of records on New Mexico’s Rio Grande?

Experimenting with some data visualizations to try to help make sense of where this very dry year on the West’s rivers fits into historical context, I came up this morning with this: The spaghetti is daily flow for each year in the USGS historic record for the gauge at Embudo in northern New Mexico – …

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Is the Central Arizona Project gaming reservoir levels to take more water from the Upper Basin?

This Central Arizona Project infographic has been a bit of a “WTF” moment in the Colorado River Basin management community: Kudos to whoever designed this. I’ve struggled to find ways to explain this. First posted to the Internet, then apparently taken down, it’s a solid explanation of the tricky way the Central Arizona Project has …

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New Mexico Water: What Our Next Leaders Need to Know

My University of New Mexico water colleagues and I are hosting a conference May 17: New Mexico Water: What Our Next Leaders Need to Know Following the 2018 gubernatorial election, New Mexico will have new leaders of its resource management agencies. This conference will consider NM water & environmental challenges with presentations by former senior …

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