LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Southern New Mexico farmers who depend on the Rio Grande will begin getting their share of irrigation water in early June.
Officials with the Elephant Butte Irrigation District say farmers can expect to start with an allotment of 6 inches (15 centimeters) per acre. That’s about 163,000 gallons, or more than 617,000 liters.
The district’s water adviser, Phillip King, says that allocation could increase depending on how much snow melt and spring runoff ends up in the river. He says upstream watersheds are dry so some runoff is expected to replenish the soil before having a chance to flow downstream.
Storage levels in Elephant Butte Reservoir currently sit at about 14 percent of capacity following what water managers across the state have described as a brutal year in 2018.
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