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Sat Jul 18, 2020, 01:10 AM

Texas, Colorado give New Mexico permission to use stored water

Low runoff, top-of-the-thermometer temperatures and little rainfall have translated into a dismal summer on the Rio Grande, with large river stretches south of Albuquerque already dry.

But water managers are finally breathing a sigh of relief this week.

The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and the state of New Mexico have received permission from neighboring states to access up to 38,000 acre-feet of water, or more than 12 billion gallons, that is currently stored in El Vado Reservoir under the Rio Grande Compact agreement.

The only other time New Mexico was granted emergency use of that stored water was in the 1950s, said Page Pegram, Rio Grande Basin Manager for the Interstate Stream Commission.

“It’s pretty clear without this release the Rio Grande was going to dry up through Albuquerque for sure, maybe even from Bernalillo through Elephant Butte,” Pegram said. “That would have been a bad situation – for endangered species, for farmers and for all the people using the river right now for fun.”

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/1477108/texas-colorado-give-nm-permission-to-use-stored-water-ex-permission-for-emergency-use-by-the-state-was-last-granted-in-the-1950s.html

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