- Associated Press - Saturday, March 4, 2017

ELEPHANT BUTTE, N.M. (AP) - Federal officials are getting ready for the irrigation season along the Rio Grande in southern New Mexico and water will start moving through the system in the coming week.

The Bureau of Reclamation says it will begin releases from Elephant Butte Dam on Monday morning. The release will quickly ramp up to 600 cubic feet per second as the water heads to Caballo Reservoir, with the rate doubling the following week.

The release from Caballo is scheduled to begin March 31.

Officials say the dry riverbeds below both reservoirs will take on water quickly and the water will begin to flow downstream. Citing safety concerns, they’re warning people to stay out of the river channels.

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