mighty rio grande now a trickle under siege - water absorption
FABENS, Tex. —
On the map, from the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico, the giant Rio Grande winds 1,900 miles.
But on the ground, the farm and the City drank almost everything before arriving at the canal, which watered Bobby scoff's farm hundreds of miles outside El Paso from the Bay
Now, California and much of the Southwest are suffering from a historic drought, a trickle that has become a moist atmosphere.
Since the beginning of 2000, "The situation is getting worse ".
Scoff said at a pick-up
Last week, he made a truck trip to his farm, but he said his farm would muddle through
If the trend does not continue.
"The jury has no opinion on this," he said . ".
The drought's control of California has taken all the headlines.
But from Texas to Arizona to Colorado, the whole West is surrounded by changing weather patterns that have reduced snow, increased temperature, stimulated evaporation, and
In an area where the entire river system has been re-laid to build cities and farms, drought is a historic challenge, perhaps a lasting one.
Many scientists say this is a sign of the permanently dry and hot West that global warming will bring later this century.
If so, water.
The government issued a ration order this month.
Jerry Brown in California may be just a sign of what's coming.
A party in the Colorado River, Arizona
Sharing the deed between Seven States is ready for the first state
If Lake Mead, the main reservoir of the river, continues to fall below its current historical low, the number of allocations will continue to decrease in a few years.
Since taking office two years ago, Interior Minister Sally Jewell has raised Western water management to the priorities of an institution.
"The challenge is systemic and persistent throughout the West," Deputy Interior Minister Michael Connor said in an interview . ".
"We need better infrastructure, better operational arrangements, a better way to share water and move water.
The dangers of drought have been fully demonstrated along the banks of the Rio Grande River, where growing thirst tests farmers, triggering environmental struggles about disappearing fish and pushing water --
A dispute over rights between Texas and New Mexico was filed with the Supreme Court.
But you can also see the dawn of hope.
Albuquerque is the largest new Mexico City along the Rio Grande River. in 20 years, despite the third increase in population, its water consumption has decreased by one quarter.
Irrigation District and farmers
Seven gallons per 10 gallons of water.
They are turning to technology and intelligence to take advantage of every drop of water.
John Fletcher, a journalist and scholar at the University of New Mexico water project, is completing a book on the Colorado River, saying no one should ignore the gravity of the Western predicament.
But it is not necessarily destruction.
"The whole running processout-of-
"Water is not really bad luck," he said . ".
"Farmers become very smart when they are short of water.
"An untested Grand pipeline, shining --
A century ago, much of the Rio Grande River was filled with Stafford goldfish and eel, but a well-designed tube --
Connected through the tunnel to the Colorado Valley in the north, rerouted, straightened, dammed, bleeding by the canal, handing over the last trickle of the South to one near El Paso for farmers
A few miles later, a tributary of Mexico began its Gulf tour.
The reason for its existence is to maintain the booming society of banks. Mr.
The 44-year-old is at the end of the tube.
The canal that supplies his farm intercepts the Rio Grande River near downtown El Paso and flows through the city zoo.
He joked that from his 1,500 acres he was there to take care of the mountain walnut trees and grow onions and alfalfa and he could hit 9-
Iron enters Mexico through the barren Rio Grande Strait.
In a perfect world, his crops can consume up to 4 feet of water in a growing season, and the canal gave him most of the water 15 years ago. “We’d double-crop —
"Make onions and come back with corn," he said . ".
"We have grown a lot of peppers before, a lot of Mexican peppers.
You can do all kinds of things when there is enough water.
This is a pleasant memory. Today Mr.
Skov fallows his fifth field, the canal water that had flowed from October to June, arrived in August and disappeared at the earliest.
He made up for the fiscal deficit with 2 inch of the city's sewage treatment plants and the salty groundwater that drained the sea, bringing
The well that his grandfather dug, he has recovered his life.
Even if the salty water saves the plant, it will poison the plant and reduce his production by fifth.
"It hurts germination, plant vitality, growth, root vitality, water absorption --
"All the negative effects that could happen in the factory," he said . ".
Again, the other situation is worse.
In the West, there are many same reasons for the shortage of water resources that plague farmers and citizens.
Like the Sacramento River in California and the Colorado River in the Rocky Mountains, most of the flow of the Rio Grande river comes from melting mountain snow --
The snow is getting smaller and smaller, and the melting speed is getting faster and faster.
The rising temperature is the reason.
The federal reclamation agency, which manages a lot of water in the West, reported in 2013 that the average temperature on upper Rio Grande Island in Colorado and New Mexico rose nearly 2.
In the 40 years ended in 2011, 8 degrees
And may increase by 2100 to 6 degrees.
The drought near Rio Grande Island, about 2,000 miles long, dried up the reservoir and forced the area to find new water sources. The 40-
Annual growth is twice the global average, surpassing the level of the past 11,300 years.
The bureau's analysis pointed out that future warming "has the potential to cause significant harm to the environment and change the hydrological conditions in the region ".
Warming has turned some snow into rain, increasing the rate of evaporation and melting of snow.
As the drought intensified, the dust and soot in the dry soil and the burning forest covered the snow, absorbing the sun and intensifying the melting.
This month, federal forecasters estimated the run-off of mountain snow that will supply the northern extension of the grant River to be about half the average recorded in the last 20 years of the 20 th century.
"In the past year 45, we have experienced weak snow, early melting and very dry spring weather," he said . "
The reporter and scholar.
"Spring runoff usually peaks in the early days.
I think it may have reached its peak this year.
"The situation may get worse.
While acknowledging that the climate forecast itself is uncertain, 2013 analysis by the Bureau of Agriculture and Reclamation concluded that by the end of the century, Rio Grande could lose about a third water.
In theory, the Rio Grande Hotel was designed and managed to absorb the blow for as little pain as possible for 3 million of those who rely on it.
In practice, some users are more embarrassed about water, while others like Mr. water.
Skov is a water beggar.
Sharing the rules of the Rio Grande Hotel is even more complicated than its pipeline.
Among other things, irrigation areas, government and tribal authorities have the right to use water, and some reservoirs are more or less dedicated to use water.
Some even came together: in the 1970 s, Albuquerque and other New Mexico cities worked with the irrigation and the Federal Bureau of Agriculture and reclamation to build tunnels under the Continental dividing line, every year, 28 billion gallons of water are poured into the Rio Grande reservoir from a tributary of the Colorado River.
However, the biggest deal is the 1938 Rio Grande contract between Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, which shows how worrying this divestiture is --
Up process can.
They are seldom happy;
For years, Colorado has breached its obligation to deliver Rio Grande water downstream.
But the tricky question is how the deal divides New Mexico's largest elephant sanctuary into New Mexico and Texas.
Most of the water in the reservoir belongs to one of New Mexico's largest Rio Grande river users.
There is also the irrigation area in Texas, which transports water to farmers like Mr.
And El Paso himself.
New Mexico manages the reservoir under an agreementon formula.
In wet years, upstream users allow more water to flow through them to fill the water.
In dry years, they will leave more water to themselves and allow downstream users to survive in the water stored during the rainy season.
An interactive map shows how much water California residents saved in April and how much daily consumption they were forced to cut under new mandatory restrictions.
This is very effective in a climate of alternating wet and dry years.
But the effects of drought over the past decade are abnormal.
Upstream users have more water, and at some point in 2013 the capacity of the Elephant Sanctuary has shrunk to 3%.
Phil King, a professor of engineering at New Mexico State University, said: "The Rio Grande contract has been damaged by the climate . " He advised the elephant Barth district.
Another aspect of the elephant butter agreement is the Supreme Court.
Texas and New Mexico agree 57-to-
They account for 43% of the reservoir, and Texas is getting smaller.
But farmers in New Mexico are drilling 100 of the river.
A mile to Texas, absorbing groundwater that would otherwise support the flow of the river.
Texas has been complaining for years.
As the drought began to spread, it threatened to sue the court, and the two sides reached an agreement in 2008 that actually gave Texas more water.
But New Mexico's attorney general sued to prevent the dispute, which Texas filed with the Supreme Court in 2013.
Many observers think it can win.
New Mexico may have less water when it is most needed.
Experts say water users should stop fighting and start preparing together for a more dry future.
"Personally, the American culture of how much water you want to use must stop," said Pat Mulroy, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and senior water regulator in Nevada.
At least at this point, the Texans seem to be in line with the New Mexicans.
In many places along the Rio Grande River, governments and farmers are cutting water and looking for innovative ways to produce more water.
For example, the irrigation district and Water Authority in El Paso is building its own 400-
In 2017, the authority plans to build a $82 million plant to recycle sewage into 10 million gallons of drinking water per day.
El Paso now uses less water per person.
About 130 gallons per day
More than any city in Texas. Per-
The City of Albuquerque won an international award for water conservation in 2006, with per capita water consumption hitting a record low last year.
John Stomp, chief operating officer of bernnarillo County Water Authority, said he believes that with further protection work and more cooperation between users, users of the Glendale River can even withstand a more arid climate.
But "it's not easy," he added . "
"It's easy to have no water.