The Rio Grande, already dry in the San Acacia reach south of Socorro, has begun drying in the Isleta reach south of Albuquerque. And with a record hot dry summer, we could see it dry in Albuquerque again this year, as it did last year for the first time in 40 years.
New Mexico’s largest river could dry again through the state’s largest city, for the second time in about forty years, if the monsoons continue to be weak.
“We could see drying in Albuquerque as early as mid-August,” (the USBR’s Carolyn Donnelly) said.
Problem 1 this year is that it’s hot and dry. Problem 2 is that El Vado Reservoir, built in the 1930s to store spring runoff for use at times like this, is under repair. So the stored water that would provide both irrigation and environmental benefits is unavailable.
This morning’s water management notes from the USBR noted 30 miles dry in the San Acacia Reach and a mile of dry riverbed in the Isleta reach.
Flow this morning through Albuquerque was a bit above 300 cubic feet per second. The median for this point in August is ~600 cfs.