ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) – As a number of states in the American West experience severe drought, the year is becoming a very difficult year for New Mexico farmers due to limited irrigation supplies, with some claiming that conditions have not been as severe since the 1950s. ,
Snowpack և precipitation is below average, spring outflows are lagging behind, New Mexico ranks last among nearly a dozen western states with deplorable reservoir levels. New Mexico’s largest reservoir along Rio Grande stands at less than 11% capacity, which means that the irrigation season for farmers in the southern part of the state will start late with only minor allocations.
To the north, the leaders of the Grand Rio Conservation Area in Middle Rio are in a state they have not seen in decades. There is no additional water in the reservoirs, պետ interstate water supply agreements limit և storage, և outflows from reservoirs, as New Mexico has not given in to Texas debt.
The district had to wait a month until April 1 to start the irrigation season due to limited supplies. Farmers were encouraged to think about calming their fields, given that demand would certainly exceed supply, but many are accustomed to the risk of planting each season, so only a fraction of the acres of the Middle Rio Grande Valley fell.
Holiday or hunger? That’s the way of life in the Rio Grande Basin.
The absence of the ri is the culmination of a series of unfortunate spring outflows in recent years, not just one year, says David Gensler, head of water operations at the Conservation Area.
“Hydrologically speaking, we continue to lose our hands. “We played for them for what was worth it, but we continue to draw bad cards,” he said, noting that water companies could not do anything else to get a positive result.
In the country, more than half of New Mexico is dealing with exceptional drought, the worst category. A year ago, there was no exceptional or even extreme drought in the state.
Utah և Arizona are worse off in terms of severe drought, Nevada is not far behind. California is also facing another drought.
In the largest city in New Mexico, utility officials issued a statement about the drought. Exterior water in Albuquerque is restricted to twice a week, and fines for wasting water have been doubled. Irrigation restrictions went into effect Thursday in Las Cruise.
Water authorities warn that there will be a struggle to meet irrigation requirements if spring-summer rains do not develop, leaving the Rio Grande via Albuquerque to dry out. The threat of drying up this far north is not new, but officials do not have the extra water to move around, as in previous years.
In southeastern New Mexico, on the Pekos River, irrigation allocations have not been so low for a century. At the same time, elephant foot irrigation officials recently told farmers to plan for a short year, “realizing that we all have to make difficult decisions.”
In 2013, that period passed during such a season, when farmers were given a few inches less, and the water from the dam opened for only 47 days. This year, the mayors plan to run for a month.
But Rio Grande’s hydrology can be unstable ացնել a little turn on, Gensler said. A well-placed spring storm can change things, or monsoons can develop at just the right time to keep the river flowing.
“As the saying goes, hope is not a plan,” he said. “It is quite possible that by the end of this spring we will hit the wall, we will not have water, և Rio Grande will stop flowing. But until that happens, we will be able to manage every drop as humanely as possible, for the benefit of farmers, fish, bosks, cities, upstream water users, this fascinating river that we all love so much. ”