March 2021 Update on the Projected Water Operations for the MRG

As discussed in the Water Advocates’ blog posting for the Minnow Action Team (MAT), the interim March 2021 Projected Annual Operating Plan (AOP) for the Middle Rio Grande (MRG) was presented during the MAT Meeting on 31 March 2021. The following briefly summarizes that presentation.

  • The March URGWOM projections are based on observed snowpack water and weather projection data through March 23, 2021
  • MRGCD will delay irrigation season deliveries by 1 month and will be using a reduced demand curve for the 2021 irrigation season
  • The Lower Rio Grande/Rio Grande Project is projecting to delay the irrigation season by 1.5+ months and is expecting to end at least 1 month early
  • The San Juan-Chama Project is projected to not receive a full allocation of water in 2021
  • El Vado is projected to store only Prior and Paramount water for the Pueblos of 28,181 acre-feet
  • Reclamation is projected to use approximately 13,800 AF of supplemental water for ESA compliance
  • Flow at the US Geological Survey’s Central Avenue river gage in Albuquerque is projected to fall below 100 cubic feet per second beginning July 1
  • The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority is projecting to temporarily stop diversions from the Rio Grande and instead supply its users with pumped groundwater when flow at Central is low for extended periods during the summer of 2021
  • MRG water operations are expect to remain under the Rio Grande Compact Article VII restrictions throughout the Water Year 2021