By Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

LOS OJOS, N.M. (AP) - Persistent drought along with demands for water along the Rio Grande have forced New Mexico officials to temporarily close the only remaining boat ramp access point at Heron Lake.

State parks officials say other areas of New Mexico have received much needed rain, but not enough has fallen to replenish the dwindling levels at Heron Lake.

The level has dropped about 5 feet in the last two weeks. It’s about 84 feet below the high water mark.

There’s enough water for small vessels, canoes and kayaks, but state officials say they’re working with the Bureau of Reclamation to determine options for re-establishing boat ramp access.

The lake was built decades ago to hold San Juan-Chama water for Albuquerque and Santa Fe. With the drought, downstream users have been taking their share from the lake.

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