Apr 18 2008
For the first time since the Biological Opinion was issued
for the Middle Rio Grande in 2003, the Bureau of
Reclamation will operate under the conditions of a wet year.
The year is defined as “wet” in the 2003 Biological
Opinion when the April streamflow runoff forecast at Otowi
gage is 120 percent of average or higher. The April runoff
forecast at Otowi this year is 155 percent of average.
This means a150-cubic-feet-per-second (cfs) flow will be
targeted over Isleta Diversion Dam through the year. A
100-cfs flow will be targeted over San Acacia Diversion Dam
into November. A 100-cfs flow will be targeted past the San
Marcial gage through June 15.
The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers announced the requirement as they released the
2008 Annual Operating Plan for the Middle Rio Grande.
The agencies expect to meet the flow requirements in the
Biological Opinion for the Rio Grande silvery minnow
throughout the irrigation season with water resulting from
the above average snow pack in the mountains of northern
New Mexico and southern Colorado and water that
Reclamation has in storage in upstream reservoirs.
The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District expects to
have a full irrigation supply this season.
The April forecast data released by the Natural
Resources Conservation Service shows snow pack levels that
feed the Rio Chama and Rio Grande to be well above
average. The inflow at El Vado Reservoir is expected to be
about 375,000 acre-feet of water or 158 percent of average.
The inflow at Heron Reservoir is expected to be about
150,000 acre-feet or about 150 percent of average.
Mary Perea Carlson _(505) 462-3573 U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Region April 16
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