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Even with above-average snowpack, Rio Grande faces uncertain future

Drier soils and aquifers still in need of recharge

January 15, 2020

The National Resources Conservation Service has predicted that the Rio Grande flows at Otowi Bridge (just northwest of Santa Fe) will be 90 percent of average. At the same time, dry conditions this past summer and fall led to drier soils and aquifers in need of recharge—meaning there still will be less water available for rivers and streams.

Parts of Colorado and New Mexico are currently experiencing drought conditions. When soil moisture is low and aquifers are drawn down, much of the water from snowmelt is needed to replenish aquifers and soil.

In the hotter, drier world we live in, this is all the more evidence that we need to learn to manage water differently for both people and the environment.

Read the press release.

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