Final Water Deliveries Wrap up 2016 Irrigation Season(Back to the top)
Central and South Valley farmers in the Elephant Butte Irrigation District placed their final water orders August 26th. EBID plans on shutting down all water releases from Caballo Reservoir on September 12th.
Final water deliveries will be made by Wednesday, September 14th and all headings will be shut off. If deliveries are completed in some units those will be shut down earlier. The shutdown order will be Leasburg first, followed by the Eastside, and then the Westside.
During this late arriving monsoon season the district continues to utilize the canal and drainage system for its stormwater capture program. After the system dries down during the fall and winter EBID personnel will continue work on the cyclical process of maintaining the extensive network of canals and laterals as well as implementing needed improvements.
The final date to place water orders is August 26th, 2016(Back to the top)
The last day Farm Rate irrigators in the Central and South areas can order water for this season is August 26th, 2016.
EBID Announces Increased Allotment and 2nd Flat Rate Irrigation
by Karen Ray(Back to the top)
Effective June 22nd and in accordance with the District Board of Directors meeting June 8th the allocation for irrigable farmland for the 2016 irrigation season has been increased from 10 inches to 13 inches per acre for those that own irrigable land. The last water order date for the Hatch area will be July 15th. Farm Rate Account water orders can be placed online or by calling the EBID Water Records Department M-F from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 575-524-8003.
EBID Announces 2nd Flat Rate Irrigation(Back to the top)
The Elephant Butte Irrigation District board of directors met July 6th for their monthly board meeting and approved a second flat rate irrigation weekend. Small tract irrigators in the Hatch area will get their water the weekend of July 16-17. Irrigators in the Central and South area will be able to irrigate the weekend of July 23-24. Irrigators may water from midnight Friday night until midnight Sunday night. Remember, flat rate accounts (holdings less than two acres within EBID boundaries with paid in full water rights) are allowed only one irrigation during this scheduled weekend.
Irrigators are encouraged to prepare by making sure their ditches are in good working order and free of weeds and obstructions. Coordinating with fellow irrigators can ensure an efficient use of the water resource and help save time.
Updates can be found throughout the irrigation season on the EBID website at www.ebid-nm.org or by calling the offices at 575-524-8003.
Updated EBID Irrigation Schedule 2016(Back to the top)
Effective June 22nd and in accordance with the District Board of Directors meeting June 8th the allocation for irrigable farmland for the 2016 irrigation season has been increased from 10 inches to 13 inches per acre for those that own irrigable land. Farm Rate Account water orders can be placed online or by calling the EBID Water Records Department M-F from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 575-524-8003.
Flat Rate Irrigation Scheduled for This Weekend(Back to the top)
Flat rate irrigation for the Central and South Valley areas of the Elephant Butte Irrigation District is scheduled for the weekend of June 11-12. Irrigators may water from midnight Friday night until midnight Sunday night. Remember, flat rate accounts (holdings less than two acres within EBID boundaries with paid in full water rights) are allowed only one irrigation during this scheduled weekend. As always, the district is hopeful for additional precipitation and will set the final schedule at the June 8th EBID board meeting.
EBID Growers Meetings to Discuss 2016 Irrigation Season(Back to the top)
Elephant Butte Irrigation District will hold Growers Meetings for the 2016 irrigation season on Tuesday, March 15th at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the EBID offices on 530 S. Melendres in Las Cruces. Duplicate presentations will occur during the two meeting times.
District Manager Gary Esslinger will discuss the irrigation season forecast and important information on the initial allocation and startup dates. "It looks like a pretty good year with a strong El Nino still present. Right now I believe we could start our season in early May, yet this may be too soon to predict," says Esslinger. He notes that although the drought isn't over yet, "Our snow pack and runoff forecast is promising, but it is not in the lake yet so we can only allot to our farmers what is in storage now. This would be equivalent to about 9 inches for our farmers if we opened up the gates now; hopefully we can increase that to 18 inches, maybe 24 inches by mid-summer." Dr. Phil King will present further information on the weather outlook for the season to help growers prepare. Irrigations Systems Director James Narvaez will provide further details regarding the irrigation season outlook and what to expect. There will also be discussion and help on using the district's online interactive map for placing water orders.
Attorney Steve Hernandez will discuss legal updates with information of critical interest to agricultural producers in the valley, including the US Supreme Court action, Texas v New Mexico, and the Stream Adjudication issue over Priority Date. Information on the DROP policy will be provided by Dr. Lisa Henne and feedback and questions are welcomed. According to EBID's DROP policy summary, municipal and industrial water users in the Lower Rio Grande will be able to "offset groundwater depletions by entering into voluntary fallowing agreements with EBID members who have combined surface and groundwater rights."
Erek Fuchs, EBID's Groundwater Resource Manager, will present a groundwater update. Maintenance Director Leo Barrett will provide an overview of the engineering and maintenance projects and their status within the district.
"Water is a precious commodity almost like liquid gold," says Esslinger, pointing out that since Elephant Butte Dam was built 100 years ago, "we are still in the battle over water. The District plays a vital role in protecting and delivering our precious surface water to our constituents…Nothing has changed over the last hundred years."
EBID Irrigation Schedule 2016
by Karen Ray(Back to the top)
Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID) began its 2016 irrigation season in the Hatch Valley on April 15th. Now it's time to begin in the Central and South areas of the Mesilla Valley. Even after Hatch has been irrigating for a month the project still has 381,700 acre feet of usable storage available. As of the EBID board meeting May 11th an official allotment of 10 inches per acre has been approved. Farm Rate Account water orders for the Central and South areas can be placed beginning May 16, 2016 by calling the EBID Water Records Department M-F from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 575-524-8003. The release date will be May 30, 2016 for those areas and will include the Leasburg Canal, Eastside Canal and Westside canals. Diversions will start about May 31st. or June 1st.
Ordering instructions can be found on the Water Growers Information Sheet and water orders can also now be conveniently placed online through the Farmer Services tab. Farmers are strongly encouraged to order as early as possible and to provide a "ready date." Remember, waiting to place and use your surface water will reduce your opportunity to receive water. As always, you must be ready when your water is available, otherwise, you may not get another chance to irrigate this season. The official end of the irrigation season is yet to be determined and will depend on both demand and summer monsoon output.
Ditch the Weeds Ditch Cleaning Challenge(Back to the top)
Water is flowing again in the Rio Grande and it's time to prepare for irrigation. Whether you're a farmer, a flat rate irrigator or just enjoy the sight of water flowing through the valley, you know that keeping the canals clean is an essential part of efficient irrigation. Farmers in the central and south valley will begin their irrigations at the end of May. Flat rate irrigation will begin shortly after that; although dates have not been set yet all Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID) members are urged to prepare.
The public also plays a critical role in the safety and success of the irrigation process. EBID and the City of Las Cruces (CLC) request help and cooperation keeping the canal system clean and free of obstructions prior to and during the upcoming irrigation season. The CLC is responsible for maintaining the culverts in the canal system under the streets within the city limits. Clean out efforts have already begun as EBID readies the system in anticipation of water delivery.
One of the problems within the district is people living in culverts, taking shelter from the weather. This is dangerous to them as well as to property because debris such as mattresses and other personal items left in the culverts can cause water blockage and backup. Often grocery carts end up in the canal system, particularly around the congested area near Amador and Compress streets. On one occasion, EBID maintenance crews pulled 14 carts out of the canal located near a grocery store. Water backups from obstructed culvert crossings can cause over bank flooding and damage.
If you live along a community ditch or a private ditch shared with a farmer, consider hosting ditch cleaning parties, both now and again during the active weed growing of the monsoon season. Talk to your fellow irrigators, farm and flat rate, gather your neighbors at a set time and place; cool early morning is best. Get the kids involved, teach them the importance of water to their food supply, this is their future. Make sure everyone has a tool in good working order, shovels, rakes, scythes, weed choppers, hoes, and weed eaters. Provide plenty of water, cold soda or tea for breaks, sunscreen, hats, and gloves. Finally, make the work fun and get it done!
You can help EBID and CLC maintain a clean operating system during our short irrigation season. If you see garbage and debris in the canals, please contact CLC Public Works at 528-3333 and the EBID maintenance department at 575-526-6671 X422, so they can resolve the problem. Thank you for your cooperation.
Basic Canal Etiquette:
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