Summer rains usually don’t do much good at Elephant Butte, New Mexico’s major storage reservoir. (I touched on this a bit last week in my on line Journal chat.) But this summer’s been extraordinary. So how’s the Butte doing?
One of my water geek contacts sent me this link, to daily numbers from the Bureau of Reclamation. The Butte was at 183,000 acre feet on July 28, the low point of the year. It’s up to 295,000 acre feet as of this writing. So how big a deal is that?
On average, Elephant Butte drops 30,000 acre feet in August. So we’re clearly moving in the right direction. But Average end-of-August storage is 1.2 million acre feet. So we’ve still clearly got a long way to go. Summer rains, even the wettest since we’ve had rain gauges in New Mexico, are not enough to erase drought caused by lack of winter precip.