Possible San Juan-Chama water shortages

Regular readers will know of my obsession with pushing beyond the “OMG we’re running out of water!” story line to look in detail at who, specifically, gets shorted when supplies run low and what adaptive responses they have available.

In New Mexico, water managers are using the occasion of our current drought to helpfully prepare a test case for me!

From this morning’s Albuquerque Journal:

The federal government has begun notifying Rio Grande water users that they may not get a full allotment of water from the San Juan-Chama project in 2013 after two years of deep drought sapped reserves.

San Juan-Chama water, imported through a tunnel beneath the Continental Divide, has been a lifeline for Rio Grande water users in recent drought years, especially Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District farmers and the Albuquerque metro area’s government water utility.

But two years of drought have drained the project’s water reserves, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation managers have been informing water agencies that they could see a 20 percent curtailment in water deliveries next year.


One Comment

  1. I was planning on staying in Albuquerque but this town is using water too fast. I don’t want to curtail freedoms but a vital rescorce is a vital rescorce. Albuquerque needs to shut down all landscape watering plain and simple. We should respect the desert and beautify the city acording to desert asthetic. Less shade? Well preserve trees that are established and not needing as much water. Take down trees that are sucking ground water too much. NO GRASS! No golfing unless golf can be played on fake turf. Is this a possibility? I don’t want to hurt people’s golf games but any lawn is a bad idea. Pools also are a bad idea, there’s no way around it evap means a pool requires more water that should be saved for drinking water. As for household use we need to do full-on black water recycling? Its expensive but nesccisary as there’s no more water coming from the sky for the next decade! That’s not nescisarily a given but Albuquerque should consider it a reality that we are in a 10-20 year drought so that we go into full 100% recycling. Its not just our state its a vast portion of the US that needs to consider full water recycling. The food growing regions need to take water from the ocean and desal to grow crops. The whole US is likely heading into a 20 year low water/drought period! Food independance will be lost in 5-10 years if the current weather trend continues! We need new technology for preserving drinking water in extreme conditions or else we will be warring with nations north and south of us over water!
    I think Albuquerque will cease to exist in 8 years at the rate wer’e going! We don’t get monsoons anymore and we don’t get snow anymore! Its not La Nina or El Nino related, its the new normal and current life style is unsustainable in the face of the new norm!

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