The draining of New Mexico’s reservoirs continues

Heron Reservoir, the first stop for central New Mexico’s imported Colorado River Basin water, dropped Oct. 10 to its lowest level since filling after it was first built in the 1970s: As I noted last month, total storage on New Mexico’s part of the Rio Grande system is at historic lows. I updated the numbers …

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Creating a conservation storage pool in Lake Powell

It’s apparently Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan week! Documents here. This is when we all gather around and try to make sense of the sweeping effort to ratchet up efforts to reduce Colorado River water use to keep the system from crashing. The plan you see before you is really not that different, at the …

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Come help solve the Rio Grande’s problems: the NM Interstate Stream Commission is hiring

A great job here, helping solve problems on the Rio Grande: The incumbent will be responsible for independent technical and scientific engineering decisions based on the principles and methods of hydrologic/water resources analyses and evaluation. The position will required advanced technical analyses of complex hydrologic and water resource engineering issues; an in depth understanding of …

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Tough to be a fish in the Colorado River

As Lake Powell drops, a waterfall forms at the reservoir’s upper end as the San Juan cuts down through sediments dropped when the reservoir was fuller. The resulting waterfall is a bit of an obstacle to fish: The razorback sucker population estimate for 2017 alone was 755 individuals and, relative to recent population estimates ranging …

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Draining the reservoirs on New Mexico’s Rio Grande

tl;dr Total reservoir storage on the Rio Grande in New Mexico at the end of August was the lowest it’s been since at least 1980. longer (with graphs!) In our University of New Mexico Water Resources Program class, we’ve been discussing the state of the Rio Grande in real time. This feels like a remarkable …

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Don’t forget Lake Powell

From 2000 through the end of 2018 (projected), Lake Powell’s elevation will have dropped approximately 94 feet despite Upper Basin consumption only averaging about 4.5 million acre?feet (maf)/year. Several particularly dry years—including 2018—in a process of continuing aridification contributed to the drop, but ultimately it is the operational rules that are slowly but surely draining …

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For not fighting over

Wolf and his colleagues combed through thousands of newspaper clippings and historical accounts of anything having to do with water at international borders. He ranked every event on a scale of -7 to +7, with numbers below zero indicating worsening degrees of conflict, and numbers above zero pointing to increasing degrees of collaboration. “It turns …

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