The Natural Resource Conservation Service’s February forecast for the Rio Grande’s flows is out, and its predictions remain dire.
The Service’s 2018 forecasts are lower even than the extremely dry years of 2011 through 2014. In 2013, when flows were around 30 percent of average, there were miles of dry river in parts of the Rio.
A 75-mile stretch of the river in New Mexico—designated 50 years ago as one of America’s first Wild and Scenic Rivers—is particularly at-risk in low-flow years, during which Colorado hoards the Rio’s water and leaves only a trickle at the Colorado-New Mexico state line. The Rio Grande Compact, an agreement between the states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas that divides up the river’s water, has enabled this behavior. It’s more evidence that it’s time to rethink river use in the 21st century.
Read the press release.
Learn more about why the Rio Grande’s flows matter.