Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Feds: Water forecast is grim for Middle Rio Grande
Federal water managers on Wednesday released their annual operating plan for the Middle Rio Grande Valley and it doesn't look good. Officials with the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said New Mexico is heading into its third year of drought, snowpack levels in key mountain ranges in the northern part of the state were only 45 percent of average and reservoirs are already low. "Just awful," hydrologist Ed Kandl said when explaining the conditions. "We're getting kicked when we're down. It's almost unprecedented to have three bad years in a row. Even in the 1950s when it was really horrible, at least they had a nice fat year in there." Back-to-back dismal summer monsoon seasons have combined with relatively dry winters and warm, windy springs to make for a serious water deficit in New Mexico. Nearly every square mile of the state is dealing with some category of drought. Even if the state gets minimal rains this summer, the Bureau of Reclamation's model shows somewhere between 65,000 acre-feet and 80,000 acre-feet will be needed to meet the demands of target flows for the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow. Without making operational changes and forming partnerships with American Indian tribes and municipalities, officials warned that there would not be enough water to meet demands...more