Clearing the institutional logjam to allow (some small amount of) NM Rio Grande storage in 2022

Ok, the logjam isn’t cleared yet, but we can see how the clearing will happen.

Also, it’s not really Rio Grande storage, it’s the Rio Chama. But it’s a tributary to the Rio Grande. Headline writer’s prerogative.

The deal is that El Vado Reservoir on the Chama, where central New Mexico stores its irrigation water, is about to undergo repairs. Abiquiu Reservoir, just downstream, has been discussed for a while as an alternative storage site. But it’s a Corps of Engineers dam, with different rules for whose water can be stored there, when, and for what purposes.

The instititutional chit-chatting about this has been going on for a while, but we’ve been growing nail-bitingly close to May, when the work on El Vado is set to begin.

Happy to report that we now have a draft National Envirornmental Policy Act analysis from the Corps which seems to have arrived in time for the actual storage of water to begin on time.

Comments being accepted through April 4.