Rio Grande Project storage is picking up about 1,000 acre-feet of additional inflow per day according to a water supply update presented at the Elephant Butte Irrigation District’s Board of Director’s meeting on 5/18 by EBID’s engineering consultant, Dr. Phil King. King said the seasonal supply stands at 261,000 acre feet and he is expecting it to drop off abruptly soon. The additional inflow gained is due to the Bureau of Reclamation releasing water from Elephant Butte into Caballo. “Snowmelt came earlier and faster this year. The bottom line is it’s over,” he said.
The District board approved a slight bump to a 6 inch allotment for the season, and it is highly unlikely that it will increase this year. Irrigation Systems Director James Narvaez expects this will get the District up to about a 40 day water irrigation season.
King commented that, “Back to back annual releases of less than 400,000 acre feet is hard on the system. We’re not getting the runoff and that stresses the groundwater reserves.”
Farmers are urged to get their water transfers and orders in promptly as the District needs to “come on strong and go fast and furious” during this short season. The official start date remains on June 1 and flat rate irrigators will be able to water the weekend of June 16-18. District members can access their accounts online via the Farmer Services Tab on the EBID website at https://water.ebid-nm.org/truecip/ or by contacting the water records office at 575-524-8003.
Now is the perfect time for irrigators to ensure their ditches are clean and in good working order to maximize water delivery efficiency.
Climate outlook models continue to call for dryer and hotter than typical conditions as we continue to be in a persistent La Nina event. The District cautions its agricultural producers to again plan for a critically short year. Updates will be shared as they become available. For updated information throughout the season visit the EBID website at www.ebid-nm.org or follow them on FaceBook.