X hits on this document

PDF document

IMPROVING NEW MEXICO’S WATER MANAGEMENT - page 33 / 47

173 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

33 / 47

only irrigate this amount of acreage. For example, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District

diverts, on average, 560,000 aft to irrigate approximately 50,000 acres6. The District has a farm

delivery to diversion ratio of 31% (Ibid, Table 3.8). Other districts achieve much higher

diversion efficiency such as EBID which has averaged 55% diversion efficiency. If MRGCD

were adjudicated and allowed only to divert the amount of water that it can beneficially use, with

benchmark efficiency of other districts, its total diversions would be reduced by 240,000 aft of

water - water that would be left in the river channel. This would go long ways in helping

endangered species such as the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow.

The State of New Mexico needs to expedite adjudication. It is the cornerstone to solving

our water crisis. A legitimate question is that given that we do not enforce our appropriation

doctrine, how have we gotten along over many years of drought and increasing demand for

water? The answer is that we have mortgaged our future by taking our water from limited

groundwater aquifers and from the very fragile riparian environment that surrounds our rivers.

To put it bluntly, we are sucking our heritage dry. The following two sections outline what has

happen to our groundwater and environmental water use.

Groundwater

New Mexico is a growing state and most of this growth is occurring in middle to large

cities. But historically, cities have appropriated very little surface water. Groundwater accounts

for 95% of the supply for public and domestic water use in the Rio Grande. This use of water is

increasing. In the middle Rio Grande, groundwater diversion for public and domestic use grew at

annual rate 3.0% between 1985 and 1995 (Wilson Brian “Water Use in New Mexico in 1985”,

6 Evaluation of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Irrigation System and Measurement Program, S.S. PAPADOPULOS & ASSOCIATES, INC. Boulder, Colorado, December 2002

33

Document info
Document views173
Page views173
Page last viewedTue Jan 24 11:55:34 UTC 2017
Pages47
Paragraphs2644
Words12042

Comments