Thursday, August 03, 2006

New water for New Mexico lakes

Hold on to your Elephant Butte stock because the south will rise again...

Recent heavy rains, with some flooding in central New Mexico, have dramatically improved the siituation of Elephant Butte Lake in southern NM. Although irrigators are still taking water from the lake (at about 1050 c.f.s., which is about 40% of the normal rate of withdrawal for this time of year), the lake is recovering dramatically.

The Butte is at elevation 4310.62 feet above benchmark and has 199,547 acre feet. It has risen 19 inches and 12,041 acre feet in the past 72 hours in spite of discharging about 6,000 a.f. of irrigation water. The Butte has some 30,000 or so acre feet more water than it was projected to have by now. The news is now good enough that earlier dire predictions may no longer be valid, and the fall recovery is likely to begin a bit sooner than forecast. The Rio Puerco is flowing at 737 c.f.s. with a 72-hour maximum of 953 c.f.s. and minimum of 100 c.f.s. The Rio Grande at San Acacia is flowing at 1020 cfs (72-hr. max. 1410 cfs, min. 484 cfs), the San Marcial Conveyance at 330 c.f.s. (max. 630 cfs), and the San Marcial Floodway at 1900 c.f.s. (min. 1540 c.f.s.).

Other Lakes

Heron Lake, 192,420 a.f., 7143.23 feet elevation. Up 0.6 inch and 175 a.f. in 72 hours.
Willow Creek is flowing at 13 cfs (191 cfs maximum, 9 cfs minimum); the Azotea Tunnel at 11 cfs (112 max.), and the Rio Chama at 31 cfs (63 max).

189,000 a.f., Ute Lake
154,825 a.f., Abiquiu Lake, up 36 a.f. (160 c.f.s. outflow)
118,272 a.f., Conchas Lake (180.8 c.f.s. outflow)
. 56,342 a.f., El Vado Lake, down 61 a.f. (86 c.f.s. outflow)
. 48,529 a.f., Cochiti Lake, up 12 a.f. (347 c.f.s. outflow)


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