EBID Announces Increased Allotment, 2nd Flat Rate Irrigation, and End of Season
EBID Members Receiving Over-pumping Letters from the OSE
2017 Allotment Increased
April Water Delivery Update
EBID Sets Initial Water Allotment 2017

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EBID Announces Increased Allotment, 2nd Flat Rate Irrigation, and Tentative End of Season

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Key Facts and Dates

2017 Total Allocation: 24 Inches
2nd Flat Rate Irrigation: July 8-9
Tentative End of Season: September 30

Effective June 14th, and in accordance with the District Board of Directors meeting June 14th, the allocation for irrigable farmland for the 2017 irrigation season has been increased from 18 inches to 24 inches per acre for those that have EBID water rights. 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.

At the June 14 meeting, the EBID board approved a second flat rate irrigation weekend. Small tract irrigators will get their water the weekend of July 8-9. 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.

The board of directors will continue to monitor the inflow of the Rio Grande into Elephant Butte Reservoir. EBID Engineering consultant Dr. Phil King said the increased allotment "is a major opportunity to facilitate aquifer recovery" and expects the district to be able to start next year's irrigation season from a much better situation. As of June 14, additional runoff is feeding into the Rio Grande system at the rate of 2000 cfs per day.

As we enter the monsoon season later this summer, the district will continue to take advantage of stormwater capture methods. These additional water resources can be used to irrigate as well as to recharge depressed areas of the groundwater aquifer system.

Irrigation Systems Director James Narvaez expressed encouragement that the district's water allocation and delivery is on target. Based on his recommendation the board set a tentative end of season date of September 30. Cropping patterns have changed over the last few years as farmers have adapted to the drought. This and the changing monsoonal patterns make water allocation and delivery a dynamic process that has had to adapt to those variable conditions.

The latest updates can be found throughout the irrigation season by calling the EBID offices at 575-524-8003.

2017 Allotment Increased

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During Elephant Butte Irrigation District's monthly board meeting May 10, the board of directors authorized an increase in the surface water allotment to 18 inches.

Dr. Phil King, EBID's engineering consultant recommended the increase based on the improved water outlook. During the Growers Meeting today in Las Cruces he said, "It's difficult to say where exactly we'll wind up with our final allotment but I would expect it would be somewhere between 21inches and two feet, somewhere in that general range." The last time the District saw improved water conditions along this order was in 2010. In July and August EBID will reevaluate the water situation to determine any possible allotment increases.

James Narvaez, the District's Irrigations Systems Director stated at the meeting that the water will be released from Caballo on Sunday and should arrive in the Central region by Monday.

Narvaez said there could potentially be three flat rate irrigations this season. The EBID board will set the next flat rate irrigation at their June 14 board meeting.

April Water Delivery Update

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The EBID Board of Directors have issued an initial 12 inch per acre allotment. Diversions started April 17th for the Arrey Canal. Diversions for the Leasburg, Eastside, and Westside Canals will start May 15th. Farmers that intend to use their surface water are encouraged to order water as early as practical so EBID can improve water delivery efficiency and insure delivery.

The growers meeting for the the Central area will be May 11th from 8 to 10 AM at the Grapevine Event Center, 3900 W Picacho Ave, Las Cruces, NM 88033. The growers meeting for the South area will be May 11th from 2 to 4 PM and the Anthony Country Club, 2100 W Ohara Rd, Anthony, NM 88021.

Irrigators with Flat Rate Accounts (less than two acres of land) may irrigate ONCE during this irrigation period (between midnight Friday and midnight Sunday),

  • the irrigation period for the North area (Hatch, Rincon) is May 6th and 7th, and
  • the irrigation period for the Central and South areas (Mesilla) is June 3rd and 4th

Additional Flat Rate irrigation(s) may be announced at a later date.

EBID Sets Initial Water Allotment 2017

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Elephant Butte Irrigation District's board of directors met in special session Friday, March 24 to determine the surface water allotment for 2017. Based on water stored in the reservoir an initial allotment of eight inches (8") per acre will be delivered to EBID members. This allotment is expected to rise as spring runoff from the Rio Grande headwaters, typically arriving from March through July, makes its way to Elephant Butte Reservoir.

EBID consultant Dr. Phil King delivers status updates on storage, climate trends, and weather and drought forecasts throughout the year. He says, "This is the best water outlook, at least in terms of snowpack, that we've had in many years. I still don't get too giddy about it, and we don't let the allotment get ahead of what is actually in the reservoir." At the March EBID Board meeting, he said that the spring runoff was beginning, and expected to increase significantly as warm temperatures in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado trigger snowmelt. He cautions, "We have had decent snowpack before and been very disappointed by what arrives in storage. It will be a better water supply year than we have had recently, but recent years were pretty bad, so any improvement is better than status quo."

Hatch Growers Meeting: Tuesday, April 11th from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Hatch Community Center, 837 Highway 187, Hatch, NM. Topics of discussion will include the 2017 surface water allocation, legal updates and further information on the Drought Reduction Offset Program (DROP). Dr. King will provide additional insight on DROP from the perspective of participating farmers and will be seeking input from the farming community. EBID is making progress with the Bureau of Reclamation, King says and will be reaching out to Municipal and Industrial water providers to explain how the program will work.

Release, diversion and water order dates are as follows:

March 31 - Initial release from Caballo Reservoir.
April 3 - El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 will begin diversion at American Dam.
April 5-6 - EPCWID will begin diversion at Mesilla Dam (Eastside and Westside canals)
April 10, 2017 - Water Orders accepted for the North area
April 17 - EBID will begin diversions at Percha Dam (Arrey Canal).
April 18 - Mexico will begin diversions at International Dam.
May 6-7, 2017 - Tentative Flat rate date for the North area
Mid-May - EBID will begin diversions at Leasburg and Mesilla dams.
End of season will depend on demand, monsoon, and other factors.

Farmers are encouraged to provide a "ready date" as well as to order as early as possible to facilitate efficient watering. Delays in placing surface water orders will reduce the opportunity to receive water. Members must be prepared to receive their water when it is available.

Farm Rate account water orders can be placed (beginning on April 10th for the North area) online through the Farmer Services tab on the EBID website at EBID members can easily set up an account to simplify water orders and general account management. Farmers may also place water orders by contacting the EBID Water Records Department at 524-8003 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Water orders and release dates for the Central and South areas are not yet determined but are tentatively set for mid May, 2017. The flat rate schedule for these areas has not been determined yet but will be announced later as more information becomes available.

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