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Published February 23, 2011
New Mexico Reservoir Levels(through 1/31/11)
Data Source(s): USDA-NRCS, National Water and Climate Center
The total reservoir storage in New Mexico did not change substantially during January (Figure 7). Storage in Elephant Butte Reservoir increased by 37,000 acre-feet in the last month, but it is down from this time last year by about 85,000 acre-feet. Storage in the Navajo Reservoir decreased by 19,500 acre-feet but is up by about 7 percent compared with a year ago. Storage in the Pecos and Canadian river basin reservoirs increased slightly in January.
In water-related news, some farmers in Doña Ana County are worried about water supplies (Las Cruces Sun News, February 13). The Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID) has not declared the amount farmers can expect to receive throughout the year, and now is the time growers are making key decisions about whether to plant in given fields and which crops to grow. EBID is waiting for more certainty about the amount of precipitation and runoff it can expect before declaring an allocation.
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 Dubious, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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