Report: Irrigaton Season Review — The Middle #RioGrande Conservancy District

Click the link to read the report on the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District website:

Thanks to an active monsoon season water supply has exceeded expectations. Without adequate supplemental storage, MRGCD water users were dependent on the natural flow of the river during the 2022 irrigation season. River flow varied significantly during the season.

The season start-up was staggered from south to north due to limited water availability and considering differences in the length of growing season. By early April, diversions were being made to all divisions of the MRGCD. Due to limited supply, deliveries were made on a rotational basis.

Water was in short supply prior to spring runoff. As preseason predictions indicated, spring runoff only lasted for a short period (from the end of April to the end of May). Adequate water supply during spring runoff allowed for more predictability in scheduling , more flexibility in rotations, and more reliability in irrigation deliveries.

On May 31, 2022, the MRGCD held a special board meeting to notify water users of potentially poor water conditions as spring runoff tapered down. Water supply in June was extremely limited until the rains arrived near the end of the month. Rain in late June/ early July provided temporary relief from water shortages.

Hot and dry conditions returned for most of July resulting in historically low river flows until rains returned at the end of the month. Rain continued through August until dry conditions returned for most of September. Additional rounds of rain in late September and October eased irrigation demand and enabled sufficient water availability for the remainder of the season.

The irrigation season will end on October 31, 2022 except for Pueblos who have requested an extension. It is far too early to predict water availability for the 2023 irrigation season. Early snowstorms are encouraging, but conditions can change. One thing is certain, MRGCD water users will be dependent on natural river flows again next season because of Compact restrictions and ongoing construction of El Vado dam.

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