Middle Rio Grande, Pecos Irrigation Season Starts

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Irrigation season for farmers along the Middle Rio Grande and the Pecos River in eastern New Mexico are under way.

The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District is opening the diversion gates at Angostura north of Bernalillo on Thursday afternoon. This is a main diversion point for the district, which covers nearly 110 square miles of cropland in the valley.

This year, the average allotment for farmers in the Middle Rio Grande will be about three acre-feet.

Those in the Carlsbad and Elephant Butte districts in southern New Mexico are only expecting about half of an acre-foot given the drought conditions that have plagued New Mexico for more than a year.

Snowpack in December has provided some optimism, but water managers are hoping a warm, windy spring won’t lead to more evaporation.

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