Historic low flows on New Mexico’s Gila River

Our UNM Water Resources Program students used the Gila River in New Mexico for their spring case study projects, so I’ve made it a habit to watch the USGS “Gila near Gila” gauge. Class is finished, but the habit is not. Flow there dropped below 30 cubic feet per second this evening. Update: I didn’t …

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Santa Fe, NM: Not like Cape Town

Julie Ann Grimm has a piece this week in the Santa Fe Reporter explaining Santa Fe’s approach to water management this year that’s a nice demonstration of why we don’t have incipient “Cape Town” situations (cities about to run out of water) in New Mexico: Groundwater wells that have mostly been resting on the city’s …

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Meanwhile, Texas is newly mad at New Mexico over water stuff

Not to be outdone by our neighbors in the Colorado River Basin to the west, here’s a letter from Texas Rio Grande Compact Commissioner Pat Gordon to New Mexico State Engineer Tom Blaine complaining that proposed water rights for a New Mexico copper mine would further cut into Texas’s share of the Rio Grande, a …

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On the U.S. part of the Rio Grande, the San Luis Valley is where most farming takes place

In water management, it’s normal to zero in on one’s local geography and not think about the larger system – especially when state lines carve up a watershed. Thus, faced with a terrible snowpack year on the Rio Grande, we’re having three largely separate conversations about agricultural water management on the U.S. part of the …

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One of the worst years in a century of records on New Mexico’s Rio Grande?

Experimenting with some data visualizations to try to help make sense of where this very dry year on the West’s rivers fits into historical context, I came up this morning with this: The spaghetti is daily flow for each year in the USGS historic record for the gauge at Embudo in northern New Mexico – …

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