Regional water governance: Rio Rancho, Albuquerque and the question of scale

Let’s talk about “polycentric governance” and the problem of regional water institutions, shall we? Because here in New Mexico, we seem to have this a bit messed up, and my book research is leading me into some compare-and-contrast exercises that might be useful in thinking our dilemma through in more detail. Dennis Domrzalski, writing in …

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Very early runoff for the San Juan-Chama project

Today’s high in Durango was 59F (15C), 18 degrees above the 1981-2010 average for Feb. 8. In the mountains to the east – the mountains that provide Albuquerque’s San Juan-Chama drinking water – the snow has already begun to melt. The snowpack there is lousy to begin with – 62 percent of normal for this …

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NM Drought: it depends on where the rain is falling

January was wet in southern New Mexico: But the farmers of the southern part of the state are among those with the highest drought risk this year. How could that be? Diane Alba Soular does a nice job of explaining┬áthat it’s snow in the mountains, which creates Rio Grande runoff, that matters. Rain at the …

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New life for one of the West’s zombie water projects?

I have long assumed that the Eastern New Mexico Water Supply Project, also known as the Ute Pipeline, was one of those zombie water projects that never quite dies but will never be built, either. The idea is to build a pipeline from the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission’s Ute Lake on the Canadian River …

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Feb. 1 Rio Grande forecast numbers – still bad

update Feb. 4: The official numbers are out, largely unchanged from the preliminary numbers: Otowi max: 107 percent mid: 63 percent min: 33 percent San Marcial max: 108 percent mid: 49 percent min: sorta zero (the models have a hard time with the bottom end of the range at San Marcial) previously: The NRCS preliminary …

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“I’ve been born and raised, still hauling water.”

In the Navajo Times, a piece about Darlene Arviso, the water lady. She drives a big truck around to homes on the eastern side of the reservation without running water, of which there are many: Armed with her cellphone and massive truck, Arviso heads out into the community to deliver water to families in need. …

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In New Mexico, precip where it matters not

tl;dr Despite good rain in the cities of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley this year (especially at my house!), it’s the snowpack that matters for state water supply. And the snowpack is not good. Longer: My backyard rain barrels are full, and the latest storm has brought Albuquerque’s water year precipitation (since Oct. 1) to …

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