Tobacco farming and swamps in early 20th century Albuquerque

Albuquerque’s nod to its agricultural past, like much of the style we have adopted for ourselves, is in significant measure artifice. This is not to say that it is not in some vague sense rooted in a truth, an actual past. But we engage in the 21st century in significant embellishment, a story we spin …

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Central New Mexico’s Rio Grande is beginning to dry

Sometime last weekend (June 4-5, 2022), the Rio Grande south of Socorro, New Mexico, began drying. By this morning (Monday June 6) river managers reported 20+ miles of drying. The gage north of the 380 bridge at San Antonio dropped to zero today. The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, which normally gets the largest …

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Losing ground(water) in Albuquerque

At the eastern end of Sandia Road NW in Albuquerque is a ratty but important piece of Albuquerque’s water management history – City Well #2. Maintained now by the US Geological Survey, City #2 was installed in the late 1950s, a pivotal time in Albuquerque water management. The community’s population was booming. To meet the …

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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, …

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thoughts on UNM’s Water Resources Program and the importance of interdiscliplinarity

tl;dr – We’ve got a bunch of really interesting interdisciplinary work underway at the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program. If you know someone finishing their undergraduate work or early in their career, interested in water work beyond the solely sciency/engineering paths, send them our way! longer It’s weird, but now that I’m no …

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When they thought the Salton Sea would bring New Mexico rain

The members of the Cattle and Horse Protective association of New Mexico, composed of men who are naturally deeply interested in a copious rainfall, believe that the Salton sea has given New Mexico a better climate. At any rate they want the matter investigated before Uncle Sam dykes up the Colorado river permanently. – Albuquerque …

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The dance of a city and its river

I woke up super early yesterday, couldn’t get back to sleep. To calm my spinning brain, I layered on some warm clothes and my dayglo construction worker safety vest, grabbed the bike lights off of their charger, and went for a ride. The moon was full, or close to it, sinking into the western sky …

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Is it too early to be optimistic about this year’s Rio Grande flow?

Yes. But that’s not stopping me! The Jan. 1 forecasts, courtesy of Angus Goodbody of the NRCS, for flows at Otowi (the head of New Mexico’s Middle Rio Grande Valley) and San Marcial (the tail) are for “normal” flows, where “normal” is defined now by the median of flows from 1991-2020. The reason it’s definitely …

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