stuff I wrote elsewhere: a dry summer on the Rio Grande

Here’s a picture of the Rio Grande, at Embudo, with water:

Rio Grande at Embduo, looking south, April 22, 2014

Rio Grande at Embudo, looking south, April 22, 2014

Here’s a newspaper story about the Rio Grande, at Albuquerque, without water:

Without good summer rains, the Rio Grande through Albuquerque could see its lowest sustained levels since the 1970s, water managers said Wednesday.

In the midst of the fourth consecutive year of extreme drought, agencies are scrambling to stretch limited supplies and looking hopefully at a National Weather Service forecast for good summer rains.

“We hope the National Weather Service prediction for an early monsoon is right,” said Mike Hamman, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s area manager, at a water operations briefing. “But hope is not a plan.”

The headline writer got carried away with the math. It was actually September and October of 1978, when we last had sustained sub-100 cubic feet per second (~3 cubic meters per second) flow in the Rio Grande at the Albuquerque gauge. So 36 years, not 40, but I’ll forgive the rounding error.