Water levels in New Mexico see improvement

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Elephant Butte is sitting at just about 5% capacity right now.

Carolyn Donnelly, the Albuquerque water operations supervisor for the Office of the Bureau Of Reclamation, said she’s actually a little excited about that number.

"Given what we thought we’d be at this time in the spring when we made our predictions, it’s way better. We’re much better off,” said Donnelly.

Earlier this year the prediction was that Elephant Butte could drop to just 1% capacity by the fall.

Jerry Foster, general manager of the Elephant Butte Lake RV Resort, said his business fortunately has visitors for other reasons than just the Butte.

"We’ve probably lost 15% over the last year, caused by COVID and the water level. The whole community depends on this lake to survive and this year along with COVID and so our businesses have really suffered in this community,” said Foster.

As far as the Rio Grande goes, this monsoon season has even kept the large parts of the river continuous.

"Based on the projections in the spring we thought we might see some river drying in the Albuquerque reach between like Cochiti Dam and Isleta Diversion Dam and you know, we can’t say that won’t happen but with every day that passes I think that we’ve avoided it and that would be the first time that, that’s had the drying since the 1980s if that happened,” said Foster.

Foster said what New Mexico would really needs to see is more snowpack.