Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Rainy days mean wet lakes

This may be getting a bit repetitive for folks who live on the coast and can't understand New Mexicans' endless fascination with that slippery cool squishy liquid stuff that falls from the skies.

Yesterday, as we drove south from Albuquerque to Truth or Consequences en route to the Rock Canyon Marina (now relocated to the DamSite area) at Elephant Butte (I love reciting New Mexico names), we saw quite a few arroyos with lots of muddy water.

Heron Lake, 7143.45 feet elevation, 193,273 acre feet. Up 1 inch and 388 a.f. in 24 hours and up 2-1/2 inches and 813 a.f. in 72 hours. Willow Creek is running at 221 cubic feet per second (101 cfs minimum and 269 cfs maximum in 72 hours), the Azotea Tunnel at 164 cfs (93 min., 230 max.), and the Rio Chama is at 188 cfs (125 min., 209 max.). Last weekend's work crews moved the marina abou four yards further from shore to prepare it for lower water levels this winter. This weekend we'll need work crews to help mount some reinforcing "knee braces" near the end of B dock, and the club will be hosting sailboat match racing for anyone interested. The lake is about half full and all ramps and facilities are usable for all boats.

Elephant Butte Lake, 4,317.40 feet elevation above benchmark, 255,737 a.f. Up 3 inches and 2,346 a.f. in 24 hours and up 14 inches and 10,665 a.f. in 72 hours. The Rio Grande is flowing at 3,800 c.f.s. at San Acacia (north of Socorro) (1660 cfs min. and 4280 cfs maximum in the past 72 hours) and at 3,980 c.f.s. at San Marcial (2,900 cfs. min. and 4860 cfs max.). Although water is still being released from the lake, inflow is greater, and the end of irrigation season is getting closer. There is plenty of lake to sail on, and sailing conditions were good last night with a moderate breeze gradually dying away as dark approached. It's very possible that the lake will only go down perhaps to elevation 4,308 feet or so, which would be about 13 feet better than two years ago and about 23 feet better than the worrisome prediction made earlier this year.

Other Lakes

Navajo, 1,422,521 a.f., down 780 a.f.

Ute, 192,000 a.f.

Abiquiu, 156,638 a.f., down 889 a.f., water flowing out at 99 c.f.s.

Conchas, 126,207 a.f., up 4,906 a.f.

El Vado, 56,555 a.f., up 213 a.f., water flowing out at 86 c.f.s.

Cochiti, 50,676 a.f., up 665 a.f., water flowing out at 650 c.fs.

Santa Rosa, 39,838 a.f., down 4,498 a.f.

Eagle Nest, 33,439 a.f., up 28 a.f.

Sumner, 17,434, up 311 a.f.

Brantley, 12,847 a.f., down 647 a.f.

Avalon, 826, up 160 a.f.


At 12:03 AM, August 17, 2006, Blogger Carol Anne said...

"This may be getting repetitive," you say. Yeah, three times counts as repetitive.

At 2:34 PM, August 17, 2006, Blogger Pat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:37 PM, August 17, 2006, Blogger Pat said...

Yeah, I have no idea why it posted three times but now that's fixed.

Take a lake update:

Elephant Butte Lake continues its spectacular recovery. Although the drought is far from over and lake levels are still low compared to pre-2003 levels, sailors have been given a great reprieve.

Elephant Butte, 262,637 acre feet at 4318.16 ' elevation above benchmark. Up 5,454 acre feet and 7.2 inches in 24 hours; up 11,395 a.f. and 14 inches in 72 hours.

The Rio Grande at San Acacia is flowing at 4,308 cubic feet per second (1900 cfs minimum and 6790 cfs maximum in 24 hours) and the San Marcial Floodway is running at 4,110 cfs (2,750 cfs min., 4,390 cfs max.) Also significant, and new: at least for now, releases from the dam have been shutoff. As of 1100 this Thursday morning, only 18 c.f.s. was coming out of the dam (vs. 603 cfs at 1100 on Weds. and 1,368 cfs at 1100 on Tuesday. With fields flooding in Hatch and maybe about 60,000 a.f. stored in Caballo Lake, for a change the farmers didn't want to see any more water leaving the dam.

Heron Lake: 193,658 a.f., 7143.55 ' elev. Up 1.4 inches and 308 a.f. in 24 hours; up 3 inches and 928 a.f. in 72 hours. Willow Creek is flowing at 109 cfs (101 cfs minimum and 253 cfs maximum), the Azotea Tunnel at 96 cfs (94 cfs min., 192 cfs max.), and the Rio Chama at 201 cfs (125 min., 351 max.).

Water-balance calculations for the month of July have been published for Heron Lake:
. . . 389 a.f. Rio Grande water in
. . 3,777 a.f. San Juan-Chama water in
. . . 104 a.f. Rio Grande water out
. . 3,747 a.f. San Juan-Chama water out
. . . 547 a.f. San Juan-Chama water loss
. . . 507 a.f. Rio Grande water end of July total
191,794 a.f. San Juan-Chama water end of July total

. . 1,853 a.f. Rio Grande water in, year to date
. 55,454 a.f. San Juan-Chama water in, year to date
. . 4,610 a.f. San Juan-Chama water loss, year to date

7132.42 ' elev. March 31, 2006
7134.80 ' elev. April 30, 2006
7141.60 ' elev. May 31, 2006
7143.26 ' elev. June 30, 2006
7143.20 ' elev. July 31, 2006
7153.55 ' elev. Aug. 17, 2006

Other Lakes

Navajo Lake, 1,422,000 a.f., down 1,168 a.f.

Ute Lake, 192,000 a.f.

Abiquiu Lake, 157,193 a.f., up 445 a.f., 94 cfs outflow

Conchas Lake, 127,286 a.f., up 4,630 a.f.

El Vado Lake, 56,937 a.f., up 673 a.f., 141 cfs outflow

Cochiti Lake, 49,755 a.f., down 365 a.f., 944 cfs outflow

Santa Rosa Lake, 40,940 a.f., up 4,064 a.f.

Eagle Nest Lake, 33,439 a.f., up 114 a.f.

Sumner Lake, 17,744 a.f., up 488 a.f.

Brantley Lake, 13,197 a.f., up 65 a.f.

Lake Avalon, 912 a.f., up 192 a.f.

At 10:40 AM, August 18, 2006, Blogger Pat said...

Mini-update for Heron and the Butte as of 0700 Fri. Aug. 18, 2006:

Heron, 7143.57' elev., 193,736 a.f. Up 1/3 inch and 116 a.f. in 24 hours; up 2-1/2 inches and 851 a.f. in 72 hours.

Elephant Butte, 4,318.68' elev., 267,444 a.f. Up 7.2 inches and 5,448 a.f. in 24 hours; up 18 inches and 13,511 a.f. in 72 hours. The dam remains shutdown, only letting out 16 cubic feet per second, whereas the San Marcial Floodway is running at 3,870 c.f.s.


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