Elephant Butte Irrigation District’s board of directors set an initial surface water allotment of six inches (6”) for the 2019 irrigation season during their regular monthly meeting on April 10. Dr. Phil King, EBID engineering consultant, stressed that this is not the end of the allotment, just a starting point based on what is currently in reservoir storage. The planned release date will be at the end of May with diversions to begin on or about June 1.
Water allotments will be increased by the District’s board as the season develops. While runoff has begun there are still several more weeks of anticipated snow accumulation and spring runoff in the upper Rio Grande region. Further details will be announced later as more information becomes available.
King says that although the snowpack is doing well the dry watershed conditions may lead to comparatively poor runoff down to Elephant Butte Reservoir. Storage levels sit right now at 14% of average with an available allocation to the District of 80,008 acre feet. He suggests planning on a 12-14 inch final allotment but that may come in the form of late additions and might be affected by the late season start.
EBID Groundwater Resources Director Dr. Erek Fuchs suggests that this is an excellent time for growers to check their well meter readings. This will help them evaluate the water use outlook for their operations and develop a water management plan as we enter the growing season.
EBID will continue to monitor the winter snowpack and subsequent runoff in the headwaters of the Rio Grande and will make adjustments as needed based on those developments. Please refer to the EBID website www.ebid-nm.org for important updates on the Irrigation Season.
For more information contact: Elephant Butte Irrigation District Main Office – 526-6671