Elephant Butte Irrigation District’s board of directors set an initial surface water allotment of eight inches (8”) for the 2018 irrigation season with limited expectations for an increase during their January 17 monthly Board of Directors meeting. The tentative release date was set between May 1 and May 15, which will be refined as the season develops. Further details will be announced later as more information becomes available.
EBID consultant Dr. Phil King discussed the outlook for the District as weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean continue to remain in La Nina status with warmer temperatures and less precipitation. “Spring runoff forecast is at a record low and the snow pack is dismal,” he reported. While current river flows in the Rio Grande are decent they are expected to taper off. EBID’s share of the available surface water stored in Elephant Butte and the reservoir sits at about 108,000 acre feet, which allows for the eight inch allotment.
EBID will be carefully monitoring the winter snow pack and subsequent runoff in the headwaters of the Rio Grande and will make potential adjustments based on those developments. Keep checking the EBID website for important updates during the Irrigation Season.