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Published November 21, 2012
New Mexico Reservoir Levels(data through 10/31/12)
Data Source(s): National Water and Climate Center
Water storage in most New Mexico reservoirs remains well below total capacity and below average (Figure 7). Navajo and Heron reservoirs declined by about 48,000 and 15,000 acre-feet, respectively, in the last month. The four reservoirs on the Pecos River are only storing about 1 percent of their total capacity combined. Elephant Butte Reservoir is also extremely low, containing only about 114,000 acre-feet, a reduction of more than 93,000 acre-feet in the last year. Elephant Butte’s total capacity is approximately 2.2 million acre-feet. Other New Mexico reservoirs reported in Figure 7 saw small gains or losses in storage, as is typical for this time of 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 Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
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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