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Published January 25, 2011
New Mexico Reservoir Levels(through 12/31/10)
Data Source(s): USDA-NRCS, National Water and Climate Center
The total reservoir storage in New Mexico did not change substantially from one month ago (Figure 7). Storage in Elephant Butte Reservoir increased by 44,300 acre-feet in the last month, but it is down from this time last year by about 80,000 acre-feet. Storage in the Pecos and Canadian river basin reservoirs increased slightly in December. Storage in the Navajo Reservoir is up by about seven percent compared with one year ago.
In water-related news, New Mexico ranchers recently filed a motion with the state Water Quality Control Commission to repeal a new rule protecting headwater streams (Associated Press, January 12). Ranchers fear the new rule will be used to prohibit grazing on public lands. Also, domestic wells in eastern New Mexico’s Curry County are drying up (cnjonline.com, January 11). Officials believe this is due to local variations in the depth of the Ogallala Aquifer and highlights the need for a speedy implementation of the Ute Water Pipeline.
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
- Dan Ferguson, CLIMAS Program Director
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Gigi Owen, CLIMAS Assistant Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Swetish, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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