WATER WORRIES New Mexico grapples with tough choices amid drought

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Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:10 pm

HATCH — In Southern New Mexico, the mighty Rio Grande has gone dry — reduced to a sandy wash winding from this chile farming community to the nation’s leading pecan-producing county. Only puddles remain, leaving gangs of carp to huddle together in a desperate effort to avoid the fate of thousands of freshwater clams, their shells empty and broken on the river bottom.

Across the state’s eastern plains, wells stand empty and ranchers are selling their cattle. In the north, urbanites face watering restrictions while rural residents see the levels of their springs dropping more every day.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • John W posted at 4:34 pm on Sun, May 19, 2013.

    John W Posts: 2

    Chemtrails and weather modification anyone? Just look up! Nope...no conspiracy theory, trust your eyes! Watch a few of the thousands of chemtrail videos on youtube. Don' take my word for it.

  • LOBOBOBBO posted at 6:32 pm on Wed, May 1, 2013.

    LOBOBOBBO Posts: 6

    A recent study using tree ring data by Henri Grisino-Mayer of the U of Arizona suggests that NM and West Texas are emerging from the wettest 200 years of the past 1500 years and are heading into a prolonged era of much less rainfall. These three years are just part of that slide towards severe aridity. During that 200 years (1813 - 2013), most of the settlement of both states occurred and those settlements were generally around reliable water sources, such as the Rio Grande and Pecos rivers. If this trend continues, some extremely difficult choices will have to be made. Backyard swimming pools, green lawns, manicured hedges, golf courses, public fountains, and flower beds are just some of the trivial uses of water that will go the way of the dinosaurs. New Mexicans would be wise to abandon those trivialities early, before the future of entire cities is affected. Water may become more valuable than gold.

  • Garland posted at 8:39 am on Sun, Apr 28, 2013.

    Garland Posts: 2

    Certainly the city of Santa Fe is not grappling with the drought as noted by one letter writer on 28April. I have also seen the city watering benches on the plaza instead of keeping the water in the hanging potted plants. And what about the city's contemplated action to release an enormous amount of water into the so-called river to keep non-native as well as native vegetation alive?

  • barko1 posted at 4:08 pm on Thu, Apr 25, 2013.

    barko1 Posts: 2

    So why are the farmers in Hatch and the Mesilla Valley planting so many more pecan trees? No pity from me when the well runs dry.

  • Chimayóso posted at 2:24 pm on Thu, Apr 25, 2013.

    Chimayóso Posts: 6

    "When the well is dry, we know the worth of water."
    Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac", 1746

  • Mike Palaima posted at 9:17 am on Thu, Apr 25, 2013.

    pressman Posts: 87

    So, the BCC, our county commisioners, keep on issuing building permits? Ala recent Joe Miller Spirit Wind, and a Dollar store. Regardless of the worsening conditions, as long as developers cross their T's and dot their I's in terms of an archaic early 90's building code, developers get permission to develop. BCC, Pontius Pilate like, washes their hands. Soon they may be washing their hands in dust?

  • Devin posted at 7:56 am on Thu, Apr 25, 2013.

    Devin Posts: 9

    "New Mexico grapples with tough choices amid drought."


    There is no mention of the State Legislature, the Governor, or the State Engineer.

    Q. So is the State of New Mexico "grappling" with this problem?
    A. Sure looks like "Not at all."


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