New Mexico’s Rio Grande has lots of water in it right now

The Rio Grande through Albuquerque has been rising for the last week or so, and is now about to make a good-sized jump in flow as water managers push some extra flows from storage behind upstream dams to encourage our beleaguered silvery minnow to spawn. From a notice sent out this afternoon by Mary Carlson …

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A drying trend forecast for the Southwest

Today’s long lead outlook from the Climate Prediction Center is enough to make a southwestern water manager long a second consecutive busted forecast*. With La Niña in the offing, the maps show creeping brown across the Four Corners states by August and not letting up until late spring of 2017: * Last winter’s forecast, for a …

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Institutional Constraints to Water Management in New Mexico

Conference May 20 organized by my University of New Mexico water colleagues, especially Kerry Howe at UNM’s Center for Water and the Environment and Adrian Oglesby at the Utton Center: The drought has eased somewhat in New Mexico but might be returning, and uncertainties regarding our future remain.  This 1-day conference will focus on federal …

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Early melt in the West’s snowpack

April and early May have been extraordinarily warm in parts of the western United States, leading to early snowmelt, according to the USDA’s first-week-of-May snowpack update: During April, Western snowpack dropped at record speed, according to data from the fifth and final 2016 forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “In …

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Despite drought, farmers on central New Mexico’s Rio Grande looking at a full water supply this year

Some remarkable news today out of the regular meeting of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District board: despite the nth* year of drought, the district’s farmers are likely to get a full irrigation season again this year, according to a report this afternoon from district hydrologist David Gensler. The forecast is for 60 percent runoff …

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The institutional hydrograph: April on New Mexico’s Rio Grande

Here’s another example of a New Mexico “hydrograph” – the rise and fall of flow on a river over time – driven by rules, not weather. The drop in river flow happens when the irrigation season begins in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. Here’s J.R. Logan in the Taos News: The Río Grande …

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Resilience and water management on New Mexico’s Middle Rio Grande

After a good start this year, New Mexico’s snowpack cratered in February and March. The month just completed, in fact, was the driest March on record in New Mexico. February and March combined were the second warmest and second driest on record, a devastating combination for what had been shaping up to be a decent …

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Throwback Thursday: Making adobe brick. Bosque Farms, New Mexico

Arthur Rothstein arrived in the Dust Bowl in April of 1936. He was 21 years old, the son of Jewish immigrants, born and raised in New York City. Fresh from Columbia University, Rothstein had been the first photographer hired by Roy Stryker, his former professor, at the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency that, from …

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