EBID’s Board of Directors met for a virtual board meeting today and heard updated storage and outlook information from engineering consultant Dr. Phil King. He recommends that no change be made to the initial 14-inch allotment for the 2020 irrigation season. King reported that snowpack in the headwaters of the Rio Grande has declined, is starting to melt and is not resulting in much runoff into New Mexico. In short, King said “Outlook for the spring runoff is increasingly pessimistic.” As of April 6 current storage in Elephant Butte Reservoir stands at 543,629 acre feet with a total project storage at 619,875 acre feet (acre feet is 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).
Farmers in the Hatch Valley are beginning to irrigate after the water release on April 13th and irrigation orders are picking up according to James Narvaez, EBID’s Irrigation Systems Director. Producers in the Mesilla and South Valley areas of the District will be able to order water May 4th to prepare for a water release on May 18th, dependent on demand.
EBID Farm Rate members are encouraged to place their water orders promptly. Please refer to the Growers Information Sheet for instructions on ordering water or 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.
EBID has not yet scheduled the flat rate irrigation dates for the 2020 season.
COVID-19 Update news: Samantha Barncastle Salopek, EBID’s legal counsel noted that the District, “Made efforts early on to protect our employees so that we can continue to deliver water to farmers and helps them play a part in the food chain.” She is working closely with Gary Esslinger, EBID Treasurer-Manager and other District staff to monitor the situation, taking action as needed. EBID has been praised for acting quickly and appropriately in this public health crisis and will continue to do so. Headquarters offices will continue to remain closed to the public at this time.
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.