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Published March 24, 2011
New Mexico Reservoir Levels(through 2/28/11)
Data Source(s): USDA-NRCS, National Water and Climate Center
The total reservoir storage in New Mexico did not change substantially during February (Figure 7). Storage in Elephant Butte Reservoir increased by 30,600 acre-feet in the last month but is down from this time last year by about 62,000 acre-feet. Storage in the Navajo Reservoir decreased by 14,800 acre-feet but is up by about 113,000 acre feet compared with a year ago, or about 7 percent. Storage in the Pecos and Canadian river basin reservoirs increased slightly in January.
In water-related news, water managers for the middle Rio Grande expect to deliver enough water to meet the water needs of farmers from Cochiti to Socorro (Albuquerque Journal, March 2). To the south, water officials are less optimistic. The Elephant Butte Irrigation District stated last month that drought conditions and new rules for distributing water on the lower Rio Grande mean that customers may only receive half of their normal allotment this year.
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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