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States Agree to Help NM Farmers on the Rio Grande

July 24, 2020 – It’s another hot, dry year for New Mexico and the state’s largest river. The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District was even set to run out of water to deliver to farmers. But an agreement between Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas is allowing the release of 38,000 acre feet of water – roughly 12 billion gallons – out of El Vado Reservoir on the Chama River, a tributary of the Rio Grande. Correspondent Laura Paskus speaks with the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission’s Page Pegram and MRGCD’s Mike Hamman about how this unusual agreement came together despite the three states being locked in a U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit over the river’s waters, what it means for this year’s irrigation season, and how the state will repay that water to downstream users. 

Correspondent: Laura Paskus 

Mike Hamman, Chief Engineer, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District 
Page Pegram, Rio Grande Basin Manager, NM Interstate Stream Commission 

For More Information: 
New Mexico Approved to Use Stored Water Under Compact Santa Fe New Mexican