In Indian Country, where pickle buckets count as water infrastructure

Kirk Yazzie, his wife and three children, ages 2 to 9, live in a one-room house in Thoreau that uses a solar-powered water pump that draws water from a cistern to a tap inside their home.Before the demonstration project started two months ago, Yazzie said he hauled water from St. Bonaventure’s well across town. “I …

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Elephant Butte Reservoir and climate change

Elephant Butte, one of the first big dams built by the then-Reclamation Service (now Bureau of Reclamation), is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. As the graph above shows, its reservoir ended the 2016 water year Sept. 30 at less than 7 percent full. The reservoir’s ups and downs through history show the great variability …

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Greenhouse gases and southwest “megadrought”

Scientists have dubbed decades-long periods of aridity in southwestern North America “megadroughts“. We’ve had them in the past, and research has long pointed toward an increasing risk of them as the climate warms. New research published last week by Cornell’s Toby Ault and colleagues has generated a wave of scary headlines – A Mega-Drought Is Coming to …

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Turning off a river for winter

After a great day-and-a-half gathering of the New Mexico water nerds in Silver City (the 61st annual New Mexico Water Conference, put on by New Mexico State University’s Water Resources Research Institute, I took a leisurely drive this afternoon along one of my favorite stretches of the Rio Grande. The Hatch Valley (more formally known as …

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Collaboration on New Mexico’s Rio Grande

A new environmental water sharing governance experiment is underway this late summer on the Rio Grande in central New Mexico in an effort to keep stretches of the river wet for ecosystem benefits. Ollie Reed sketched out the details in this morning’s Albuquerque Journal: Sandia, Isleta, Santa Ana and Cochiti pueblos each donated 100 acre-feet …

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Good at helping communities conserve water? Albuquerque would like to chat….

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority is looking to hire a new Water Conservation Program Manager. Pass the word, we’re already pretty good at conservation here (I brag about this a lot!) but we’re not letting up. More info can be found at the water authority’s hiring web site. Click on “open positions” in …

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I’m the new director of the University of New Mexico Water Resources Program

When Bob Berrens invited me three years ago to join him in teaching a class on contemporary issues in water management in the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program, I was hesitant. I was pretty busy – working full time at the Albuquerque Journal, trying to write a book. But heck, it seemed like …

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New Mexico’s long history of not building dams on the Gila

Laura Paskus writes: Almost 50 years ago, on June 14, 1967, four couples fired off a telegram from Las Cruces to Sen. Henry Jackson, a Democrat from Washington. Called “Scoop” by his pals, Jackson chaired the Senate committee looking at a bill to authorize the Central Arizona Project, a system of dams, canals and aqueducts …

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