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Published August 23, 2011
New Mexico Reservoir Levels(data through 7/31/11)
Data Source(s): National Water and Climate Center
The total reservoir storage in New Mexico declined by about 160,000 acre-feet in July (Figure 7). There were substantial decreases in storage in the state’s largest reservoirs—Navajo and Elephant Butte declined by 39,200 and 60,100 acre-feet, respectively. Compared with one year ago, storage declined in every New Mexico reservoir included in Figure 7, except Abiquiu, which contains only 700 acre-feet more than one year ago.
In water-related news, the Buckman Direct Diversion project, which brings Rio Grande water to Santa Fe, was closed for about a month after rain washed ash and debris from the Las Conchas Fire into the river system (Santa Fe New Mexican, August 6). The closure prevented the ash from clogging filters and required Santa Fe, whose local reservoirs are only around one-third full, to pump groundwater.
The map gives a representation of current storage levels for reservoirs in New Mexico. Reservoir locations are numbered within the blue circles on the map, corresponding to the reservoirs listed in the table. The cup next to each reservoir shows the current storage level (blue fill) as a percent of total capacity. Note that while the size of each cup varies with the size of the reservoir, these are representational and not to scale. Each cup also represents last year’s storage level (dotted line) and the 1971–2000 reservoir average (red line).
The table details more exactly the current capacity level (listed as a percent of maximum storage). Current and maximum storage levels are given in thousands of acre-feet for each reservoir. One acre-foot is the volume of water sufficient to cover an acre of land to a depth of 1 foot (approximately 325,851 gallons). On average, 1 acre-foot of water is enough to meet the demands of 4 people for a year. The last column of the table list an increase or decrease in storage since last month. A line indicates no change.
These data are based on reservoir reports updated monthly by the National Water and Climate Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). For additional information, contact Wayne Sleep, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portions of the information provided in this figure can be accessed at the NRCS website:
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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