- Virtually the entire state as in severe, extreme or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
- The drought has hit New Mexico’s eastern plains the hardest, and according to the Palmer Drought Index, a measure that combines temperature and precipitation, the area has suffered through its driest two-year stretch since the drought of the 1950s.
- Of the state’s 15 reservoirs, 14 are below 50 percent capacity, the University of Arizona’s Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) shows.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Addressing NM’s drought — at a high price
Suffering through the state’s worst drought in 60 years, New Mexico farmers and ranchers may get help from the Roundhouse – but at a hefty price for taxpayers. Senate Bill 440, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, calls for $120 million for the Interstate Stream Commission to “acquire, retire, protect and conserve” water in the lower Rio Grande basin, which has degenerated in some spots from a mighty river to a slow-moving stream due to the lack of rain and snow. “We’re not getting water down to the southern part of the state, and we’ve got to find ways to addresss that,” Cervantes told New Mexico Watchdog. “One of the ways to address that is to import some water from outside the district. Another way to do that is acquire senior water rights.” “Water is a sleeper issue here in New Mexico,” Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, said on the opening day of the session. “It is going to be — and already is — a major concern.” Nearly every chart, graph and measurement reflects the dire picture across New Mexico.