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Active Water Resource Management in the Lower Rio Grande TOOLS FOR A NEW ERA IN WATER MANAGEMENT presented by Peggy Barroll, Hydrologist New Mexico Office.

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Presentation on theme: "Active Water Resource Management in the Lower Rio Grande TOOLS FOR A NEW ERA IN WATER MANAGEMENT presented by Peggy Barroll, Hydrologist New Mexico Office."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Active Water Resource Management in the Lower Rio Grande TOOLS FOR A NEW ERA IN WATER MANAGEMENT presented by Peggy Barroll, Hydrologist New Mexico Office of the State Engineer Lower Rio Grande Water Users Association 8/19/05

3 This Presentation More details on the problem More details on the problem How will our draft regulations address this problem How will our draft regulations address this problem The basis for administration The basis for administration

4 The Problem Demand and use of water is increasing Demand and use of water is increasing Groundwater use is increasing Groundwater use is increasing Junior Groundwater use impacts senior surface water rights Junior Groundwater use impacts senior surface water rights

5 Even Though EBID Irrigated Acreage is Down…

6 Depletion of Water within EBID Has Increased

7 With Additional Depletion on Groundwater-only Lands

8 Plus Increasing Municipal and Industrial water use

9 The Facts We Must Deal With Groundwater and surface water behave as single resource Groundwater and surface water behave as single resource State Engineer Reynolds did not declare state’s jurisdiction over most of the LRG’s groundwater until 1980 and 1982 State Engineer Reynolds did not declare state’s jurisdiction over most of the LRG’s groundwater until 1980 and 1982  Most pumping already established

10 The Facts We Must Deal With Groundwater pumping has been increasing in the LRG Groundwater pumping has been increasing in the LRG Groundwater pumping for irrigation use alone may be as high as: Groundwater pumping for irrigation use alone may be as high as:  50, ,000 AFY in full project supply years  200, ,000 (?) AFY in low project supply years

11 Groundwater Pumping Dries up Drains

12 Drain Flows are Part of the Water Supply of the Rio Grande Project Historically drain flows have added about 20% to Project diversions Historically drain flows have added about 20% to Project diversions When the drains are dry, the Rio Grande Project water supply is reduced, and Project water cannot be delivered efficiently When the drains are dry, the Rio Grande Project water supply is reduced, and Project water cannot be delivered efficiently Surface water rights associated with the Rio Grande Project are senior in priority Surface water rights associated with the Rio Grande Project are senior in priority

13 This Effect has been Evident in the Recent Drought Groundwater pumping has been high during the recent drought Groundwater pumping has been high during the recent drought The drains have been dry The drains have been dry The drains dried up rapidly, and have not yet recovered. The drains dried up rapidly, and have not yet recovered.

14 To Address this Problem: The State Engineer is Increasing Regulation of Groundwater Use Metering Order Metering Order District Specific Regulations District Specific Regulations  Enforcement against over diversion

15 In Addition, the District Specific Regulations Will Include Priority Administration Junior groundwater rights will be curtailed in priority, as necessary Junior groundwater rights will be curtailed in priority, as necessary  to protect the historical operations of the Rio Grande Project  to ensure protection of senior surface water rights owners

16 The Regulations Depend on a Priority Administration Target This target has been set as the historical operating efficiency of the Rio Grande Project since the 1950s (the D2 curve) This target has been set as the historical operating efficiency of the Rio Grande Project since the 1950s (the D2 curve) Once a new operating agreement is developed, and is accepted by all parties, the State Engineer will administer to that agreement Once a new operating agreement is developed, and is accepted by all parties, the State Engineer will administer to that agreement

17 What is D2? D2 is a plot of Project Release vs. Project Supply Using data from Project Release: Water released from Caballo for the Rio Grande Project Project Supply: Divertible Water at River Headings: includes release from Project Storage, return flows, and any useable inflows to the Rio Grande

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19 D2 is an Efficiency Relationship IN: Release from Reservoir Storage IN: Release from Reservoir Storage OUT: Delivery at River Headings or Project Supply OUT: Delivery at River Headings or Project Supply Efficiency: OUT / IN Efficiency: OUT / IN If it really were a pipe Efficiency would be 100% If it really were a pipe Efficiency would be 100% IN Out

20 Actual Project (River) Efficiency In good years, drain flows come back in to the River, and thus water is recycled. In good years, drain flows come back in to the River, and thus water is recycled. Full Supply Year Efficiency: 120% Full Supply Year Efficiency: 120% IN

21 Actual Project (River) Efficiency In bad years, drain flows dry up, and water is lost to the River conveyance losses. In bad years, drain flows dry up, and water is lost to the River conveyance losses. Bad Supply Year Efficiency: % Bad Supply Year Efficiency: % IN Losses

22 D2 Curve with All Data Through 1992: Reflects Historical Operating Efficiency

23 In Recent Years? BOR has said that Project still operates at close to D2 efficiency, except for during the recent drought BOR has said that Project still operates at close to D2 efficiency, except for during the recent drought

24 How are we using D2 in our Regulations? Junior groundwater will be curtailed, if necessary, to ensure that the Rio Grande Project can operate at the level of efficiency described by D2 Junior groundwater will be curtailed, if necessary, to ensure that the Rio Grande Project can operate at the level of efficiency described by D2 Under Depletion Limit Administration this curtailment would be either Under Depletion Limit Administration this curtailment would be either  Temporary, for critical years, or  Long term if necessary

25 Why Administer to the Historical Operating Condition? Gives us a quantified target for surface water delivery Gives us a quantified target for surface water delivery Documented in US BOR Rio Grande Project Water Supply Allocation Procedures Documented in US BOR Rio Grande Project Water Supply Allocation Procedures It has been the basis of Rio Grande Project operations for 50 years It has been the basis of Rio Grande Project operations for 50 years It is generally favorable to New Mexico It is generally favorable to New Mexico

26 Priority Administration Will Not Be Easy or Pleasant Seniors get a full supply before juniors get any Seniors get a full supply before juniors get any When determining who gets curtailed: only seniority counts When determining who gets curtailed: only seniority counts  although the State Engineer will not curtail essential domestic uses Groundwater rights are generally junior Groundwater rights are generally junior The burden imposed by shortages is not shared The burden imposed by shortages is not shared

27 The State Engineer Prefers Alternative Administration Local water users agree on a workable alternative solution Local water users agree on a workable alternative solution For example For example  Shortage sharing  Reserve pools of water in reservoir storage to ensure Project deliveries  Other options

28 Your Comments & Ideas Agri- culture Municipalities Industries

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