Future with less water predicted in plan for Rio Grande River

In 50 years, Rio Grande flows in New Mexico could decline by 30%.

Water in reservoirs such as Elephant Butte is expected to evaporate much faster, and soil and trees across the state will suffer with scorching temperatures and less water.

The scale of climate change impacts on the state’s water supplies demands immediate action from every level of government, according to the draft 50-year water plan released by the Interstate Stream Commission this week...

The report, requested by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, has as its foundation a leap-ahead climate analysis by a state panel of scientists.

That research found New Mexico’s average annual statewide temperatures in 50 years could increase by as much as 7 degrees.

Higher temperatures will create a more arid climate.

A drier New Mexico increases the likelihood for hotter, more intense droughts.

Snowpack may decrease, and runoff could happen earlier in the year.

“We’re looking at lower streamflow and aquifer recharge,” Erdmann said.

Those diminished water levels could stress plants and soil statewide.

This article highlights the predicted effects of climate change on a large reservoir, an issue that will continue to be important not only for the Southwest, but for many of our reservoirs nationwide.

Read the full article at: Future with less water predicted in plan - Albuquerque Journal