Despite most of Grant County having received over 2 inches of rain this month, and more than one flash-flood warning alert sent to all of our cell phones, we are still depressingly in the midst of a drought. If you want proof, just compare the above satellite photo, courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory, to the one pictured here below.
It’s official: Elephant Butte is dishearteningly low. According to the article that can be found at http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=81714&src=eoa-iotd, the current levels of the state’s largest reservoir are at roughly 3% of the lake-bed’s full capacity. The second image is only 9 years old, when Elephant Butte was at nearly 90% of it’s full capacity. So how did it drop over 85% capacity in just ten years? Well, there are a lot of theories floating around out there, but one thing is certain:
New Mexico is still in a severe drought.
A few inches of rainfall during one season, even though this is exciting after almost a decade of hot, dry summers, is not enough to refill a lake. Elephant Butte is fed by the Rio Grande River which, right now, isn’t so grande. It will take years of good monsoons and heavy snows up in Colorado to get the water flowing again. So whatever prayers and rain dances you’ve been doing to help call the rain to our little corner of the desert, keep them coming!
If you want to learn more about this depressing status of our largest reservoir, visit http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=81714&src=eoa-iotd to read the full story. The site offers statistics and graphs, as well as an interactive direct comparison of the two images given here.
Thanks to the Silver City Neighbors Alliance for emailing us this link.