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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One of the driest February-March’s in Albuquerque history

Correction (update?): As of Friday, March 25, 2016, it’s now not likely to rain in March after all. Correction (update?): It might rain after all!   In 1934, the official Albuquerque weather station received 0.04 inches of rain in February and 0.01 in March. This year, we received 0.05 in February. So far, we’ve gotten …

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A forecast for another dry year on the Rio Grande

The March 1 forecast for the Rio Grande in New Mexico suggests we are heading into another dry year on the Rio Grande in New Mexico, with a median forecast of 80 percent of the 1981-2010 average flowing into Elephant Butte Reservoir. (source pdf) That is close enough to average that there is a lot …

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Albuquerque at 127 gallons per person per day – how low can cities go?

I’m giving a talk next week at the CLE Law of the River conference in Las Vegas about what I think is one of the two most important trends in western water management. The first, which we hear a lot about, is the pressure posed by climate change and drought. The second, which I don’t think …

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Albuquerque’s water use dropped another 3 percent in 2015

The great decoupling between Albuquerque’s growth and its water use, with total use down another 3 percent in 2015, continuing a trend that over two decades has led to a 24 percent drop in water use, even as population has grown 25 percent. I don’t have population numbers yet that I need to do the …

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