the ditches are running

I took a detour from the bike trail this morning to see water in the Albuquerque Main Canal, which brings irrigation water to Albuquerque’s strangely urbanized rural valley. There are 350 miles of canals threaded through the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District’s Albuquerque Division, bringing water to something like 10,000 acres of land. It was …

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Linking Forests to Faucets

New work by UNM colleagues (Dadhi Adhikari and others) suggests municipal water users are willing to pay for work to improve the health of the watersheds that supply the city’s water – in this case Albuquerque: Econometric results show evidence of … significant public support for forest restoration – linking forests to faucets. (Dadhi is …

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New Mexico’s Rio Grande forecast: 50-plus percent above average

Runoff this year on the Rio Grande at Otowi in northern New Mexico is forecast to be 50 percent above average, according to preliminary numbers out this morning from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the March-July forecast. There’s always a big spread in the forecast this early in …

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Ignore this quite encouraging Rio Grande runoff forecast

It is only January. We have months and months of snow season left, which will determine whether we have a good runoff year on New Mexico’s Rio Grande. So you should in no way click obsessively on the snowpack map every morning while you’re having your first cup of coffee. I repeat, do not click. …

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The risks of overestimating future water demand

Laura Paskus has a new piece touching on an issue that is one of the most important policy problems in western US water management – the tendency of water managers to overestimate future demand. In this case, it’s the Gila River basin in southwestern New Mexico, where planners are considering significant investment to build a …

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Effluent as an environmental good

My University of New Mexico Water Resources Program colleague Bruce Thomson loves to point out that Albuquerque’s wastewater treatment plant is, in New Mexico, the second largest tributary to the Rio Grande after the Rio Chama. But as tributaries go, it’s a short one – under 100 yards/meters from the outfall to the main river …

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