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Published September 23, 2010
New Mexico Reservoir Levels(through 8/31/2010)
Data Source(s): USDA-NRCS, National Water and Climate Center
Total reservoir storage in New Mexico decreased by about 143,000 acre-feet in August (Figure 7). However, reservoir declines are typical for this time of year. Storage in the two largest New Mexico reservoirs—Navajo and Elephant Butte—decreased by about 88,000 acre-feet. Compared to one year ago, combined storage in Pecos River reservoirs is up by about 29,000 acre-feet (reservoirs 9–12 on figure 7), and combined storage in Canadian River reservoirs is up by more than 16,000 acre-feet (reservoirs 13–15 on figure 7).
New Mexico has asked the state Water Quality Control Commission to designate 700 miles of 192 perennial rivers and streams, 29 lakes, and about 6,000 acres of wetlands in wilderness areas as outstanding national resource waters (Santa Fe New Mexican, September 13). The designation would require the U.S. Forest Service to add environmental protections for rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands in designated wilderness areas.
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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