New Mexico Water: What Our Next Leaders Need to Know

My University of New Mexico water colleagues and I are hosting a conference May 17: New Mexico Water: What Our Next Leaders Need to Know Following the 2018 gubernatorial election, New Mexico will have new leaders of its resource management agencies. This conference will consider NM water & environmental challenges with presentations by former senior …

Continue reading ‘New Mexico Water: What Our Next Leaders Need to Know’ »

The Cape Town lesson: avoiding apocalypse

The headline on this terrific Robyn Dixon piece in the LA Times about how Cape Town staved of a water supply catastrophe has created an unfortunate framing: How Cape Town found water savings California never dreamed of One frequent interpretation as it rocketed around water-interested social media was, “We’re pathetic, look how much better Cape …

Continue reading ‘The Cape Town lesson: avoiding apocalypse’ »

The Colorado River-Sacramento Delta Connection

With an 85 percent allocation of northern California water from California’s State Water Project last year, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was able to cut back on its use of Colorado River water, leaving more than 300,000 acre feet in Lake Mead. That water has provided a sufficient buffer than Mead will end …

Continue reading ‘The Colorado River-Sacramento Delta Connection’ »

New constraints on Imperial’s ability to throttle back Colorado River water use

I’ve been puzzling over the impact of Imperial Irrigation District’s legal struggle over its “Equitable Distribution Plan”, a regulatory framework for governing how much water individual farmers can use. This story from Daniel Rothberg is a big help: As a practical matter, the repeal of the Equitable Distribution Plan lessened IID’s control over its plans to …

Continue reading ‘New constraints on Imperial’s ability to throttle back Colorado River water use’ »

“breakdown” in Kirtland fuel spill cleanup

Albuquerque’s municipal water utility, in a strikingly worded memo yesterday, said the latest plans for managing a huge groundwater spill on and adjacent to Kirtland Air Force Base represent “a breakdown” in what was once a partnership among the water utility, the Air Force, and the New Mexico Environment Department. The new plans back away …

Continue reading ‘“breakdown” in Kirtland fuel spill cleanup’ »

Palo Verde Irrigation District withdraws lawsuit against Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

In a bit of Colorado River detente, the Palo Verde Irrigation District has filed a motion in Riverside County Superior Court to withdraw a lawsuit it had filed against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California over the use of water on Met-owned land in the Palo Verde District:   View note The move does …

Continue reading ‘Palo Verde Irrigation District withdraws lawsuit against Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’ »

“For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water.”

On a bike ride this morning, I turned onto a little dirt trail through the woods, heading out toward the Rio Grande. Twenty yards from the river, I found a book lying in the trail, battered by the weather: It was a Bible, lying open to Exodus 15:22: “Then Moses led Israel from the Red …

Continue reading ‘“For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water.”’ »

Water policy implications of elk, raiding wheat fields, in Polvadera, New Mexico

I had one of those “I wish I was still a reporter” moments when Glen Duggins, at yesterday’s meeting of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District board meeting, raised the issue of elk in Polvadera. Polvadera is an unincorporated community along the Rio Grande, between the also unincorporated communities of San Acacia and Lemitar, strung …

Continue reading ‘Water policy implications of elk, raiding wheat fields, in Polvadera, New Mexico’ »

We should probably stop calling it “drought”

Colorado River Basin Managers are working on what they call a “Drought Contingency Plan” to reduce water use, but that’s probably a bad name to describe what’s going on, as the members of the Colorado River Research Group explain in a new white paper (pdf): In current Colorado River water management, perhaps no word is used …

Continue reading ‘We should probably stop calling it “drought”’ »

Putting the water back

Laura Paskus on an encounter with Jennifer Pitt in the Colorado River Delta: Walking through the cottonwood forest, Pitt says this landscape was destroyed before anyone figured out what to do about it. When the Colorado River started running dry in the mid-20th century, there weren’t yet environmental laws to temper or stop destructive operations …

Continue reading ‘Putting the water back’ »