In praise of rail lines and ditchbanks

Somewhere around Mile 22 of a long Sunday bike ride, my friend Scot motioned to a dirt road off to the left, crossing the railroad tracks. “We’re turning there,” he said. The ride down New Mexico state highway 314, through Albuquerque’s South Valley, across Isleta Pueblo and into Valencia County, is a lovely one, urban …

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The Rio Grande’s shrinking snowpack

A dry January in the Rio Grande headwaters means a shrinking runoff forecast. Otowi (the Compact measurement point on which New Mexico’s Texas delivery obligation is based): 78 percent, which is down from 90 percent on January 1. Still big error bars, because the most important variable is how much snow we get in February …

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Taking New Mexico’s Gila water from the San Juan?

Old John Fleck would have happily explained to you why this from Bruce Babbitt is a terrible idea: Damming the Gila River is a vampire proposal that would suck the life out of Southern New Mexico’s most treasured wild and scenic river. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wants to kill the project. Both of New Mexico’s …

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Some other stuff I’m up to – climate change impacts research

Natalie Rogers did a nice writeup for the University of New Mexico on some work I’m doing with a group of University of New Mexico colleagues on climate change impacts and adaptation in New Mexico. Working as part of a new affiliation between UNM researchers and the USGS-funded South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center, some …

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The Value of Water in Alternative Uses

As has become my December tradition, I’m in a Las Vegas hotel room preparing for this year’s meeting of the Colorado River Water Users Association/finishing up grading my University of New Mexico Water Resources students’ final papers for the just-finished semester. This year’s class – our introductory course for graduate students in our Masters of …

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On New Mexico’s Rio Grande, the biggest year since 1995

We’re closing out 2019 with big flows on the Rio Grande through Albuquerque – at least big for this time of year. Flow at the Albuquerque gauge Friday topped 2,000 cubic feet per second, setting a record for Nov. 29 at a gauge that goes back to the mid-1960s. A couple hundred of those cubic …

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