Thursday, August 10, 2006

New Mexico rainy days and lake conditions.

Yep, not only do we actually have water in New Mexico, but some neighborhoods have gotten more than they want at the moment.

The biggest benficiary of the rains has been Elephant Butte Lake. Earlier predictions were that the Butte would be much further down than it is. The Daily Operations Plan, which assumed no rainfall and assumed farmers would take all their irrigation allotments, predicted that on August 10, 2006, Elephant Butte Lake would be at elevation 4301.11 feet above benchmark, with 130,748 acre feet of water. Instead, with all the recent rains, the Butte is now at 4314.44 feet elevation and has 230,002 acre feet of water. It's up an amazing 19 inches and 13,147 acre feet in 72 hours, and 13 feet and 100,000 acre feet above the prediction made earlier in the year.

This is good enough news that the end-of-month prediction of 62,816 a.f. at elevation 4286.56 is no longer accurate and that this year's lake level will likely be no worse than that in 2004's drought, when the lake went down to about elevation 4295 and around 94,000 a.f. It is quite possible that the Rio Grande Sailing Club will be able to re-schedule its long-distance Sunrise Regatta for September or October.

Oddly enough, water is still being released from Elephant Butte Lake at about 920 cubic feet per second. However, inflow is much greater; the river is flowing at 2710 c.f.s. at San Marcial (minimum of 1760 c.f.s. in the last 72 hours) and 3150 c.f.s. at San Acacia (1700 cfs min., 5090 cfs max.), with the Rio Puerco flowing at 5054 cfs (1693 cfs minimum).

Other New Mexico Lakes

Navajo 1,422,908 a.f., up 2,446 a.f.

Heron, 192,730 a.f., 7143.31 elevation, up 1,543 a.f. and 4.8 inches in 72 hours. The Rio Chama is flowing at 250 c.f.s. (65 minimum, 255 max.), the Azotea Tunnel at 113 c.f.s. (57 min., 432 max.), and Willow Creek at 180 c.f.s. (79 min., 430 max.).

Ute, 191,000 a.f.

Abiquiu, 158,678 a.f., up 1,374 a.f.

Conchas, 121,606 a.f., up 1,263 a.f.

El Vado, 56,841 a.f., up 66 7 a.f.

Cochiti, 49,228 a.f., down 1,225 a.f.

Santa Rosa, 34,309 a.f., up 1,521 a.f.

Eagle Nest, 33,454 a.f., down 29 a.f.

Sumner, 15,496 a.f., down 42 a.f.

Brantley, 14,269 a.f., down 195 a.f.

Avalon, 631 a.f., down 68 a.f.


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