Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID) continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and is following guidelines directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of New Mexico Health Department, the Governor, and the EBID Board of Directors. As of March 13, 2020, District offices will be closed to the public for three weeks in the interest of public safety. Office hours will be reviewed at the end of the three-week period and evaluated based on the current health situation. The District will notify members and the public of any changes moving forward. Growers Meetings have not been scheduled as of this time, and the decision regarding whether to schedule will be reviewed again on April 3, 2020. In the meantime, EBID will continue to communicate important information to its Members and the Public via social media and by phone or email.
EBID’s Board of Directors set an initial surface water allotment of fourteen inches (14”) for the 2020 irrigation season during their regularly scheduled board meeting on March 5. As of March 4 total seasonal project supply stood at 645,758 acre feet (a unit of volume equal to the volume of a sheet of water one acre in area and one foot in depth; 43,560 cubic feet).
Water order and diversion dates are as follows:
Hatch Valley – March 30, 2020 –- open for water orders
Hatch Valley – April 13, 2020 –- water release (if there is enough demand)
Mesilla Valley and South areas –- May 4, 2020 open for water orders
Mesilla Valley and South areas –- May 18, 2020 water release (if there is enough demand)
EBID members with Farm Rate Accounts are encouraged to refer to their Growers Information Sheet for instructions on ordering water or can contact the office. Water orders can be placed online through the Farmer Services Tab on the EBID website at www.ebid-nm.org. Account information and instructions are also available through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or can be called in to the EBID Water Records Department at 575-524-8003, Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. As always, the water release is dependent on receiving enough demand, so farmers are strongly encouraged to place their water orders early. This helps District staff begin planning efficient deliveries.
EBID has not yet scheduled the flat rate irrigation dates for the 2020 season.
Dr. Phil King, EBID engineering consultant, closely monitors precipitation data for the Upper Rio Grande
Watershed area. Reporting at the March board meeting, he noted that snowpack is below average and the outlook for spring runoff is increasingly pessimistic. Throughout the year Dr. King brings climate information and drought statistics from the National Weather Service and other governmental monitoring organizations to the District’s board of directors to help them make informed decisions. 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.
For further information EBID members and the public are encouraged to call the District office at (575) 526-6671, press “0” for tax questions and to be transferred to other departments. Please find important updates and further irrigation news as the season develops on the EBID website at www.ebid-nm.org and on the EBID FaceBook page.