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Published September 20, 2011
New Mexico Reservoir Levels(data through 8/31/11)
Data Source(s): National Water and Climate Center
The total reservoir storage in New Mexico declined by an estimated 110,000 acre-feet in August (Figure 7). This estimate does not include storage changes from Heron and El Vado reservoirs, which also decreased according to the Bureau of Reclamation. Storage in all but two of the state’s reservoirs reported in Figure 7 fell during August. Of particular note is the very low storage in Elephant Butte Reservoir, which had about 200,000 acre-feet and stood at only about 9 percent of full capacity. Pecos River Reservoir (reservoirs 9-12) storage was also exceedingly low.
In water-related news, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District board of directors has decided to conserve the remaining irrigation water stored in El Vado Reservoir (dchieftain.com, September 3). This move is to ensure that the farmers have enough water for the 2012 irrigation season. Beginning September 15, only the natural flow of the Rio Grande will be available to irrigators.
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 Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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