Rio Grande runs dry in Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The problems continue for the Rio Grande – sandy river beds and shallow streams are now throughout the metro.

The Rio Grande hasn’t run dry through Albuquerque since the ’80s and many people can hardly believe their eyes.

“That is why we wanted to come down because for the first time in so many years just to be able to walk across the river cause it’s fun and weird,” said Louie Silva. 

Silva says he can remember seeing the river bed empty like this when he was growing up, but for his kids, this is something new.

“Never, we have never seen it like this before it’s always full of water at least a little bit not enough to walk past,” said Elizabeth Silva.  

While it can be shocking to see, the Silva family managed to make exploring the river bed a fun afternoon adventure. David Silva even caught fish in the scattered puddles.

“It’s just that shallow you can see ’em and pick it up with your hands,” said David. 

Now officials are worried how this drought could impact everything in the Rio Grande valley.

“It’s not just people effected by that it’s the ecosystem of the river right?” said Jason Casuga, CEO and chief engineer for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.

While David was able to catch a fish by hand, those trying to use poles were out of luck.

“Came out here fishing you know on a Sunday and it seems like there isn’t enough water for us to fish,” said Christian Lujan. 

Even in the heart of Albuquerque where Route 66 crosses the Rio Grande there is barely more than a trickle of water flowing under the bridge.

“We came out about a month ago and it was pretty high about right here. Where did it go?” asked Lujan. 

As Lujan asks where the water went, officials are wondering when are we going to get more.

“The reality is the drying temps are going to stick around, the reduced precipitation is going to stick around so we are going to have to adjust to this new reality,” said Casuga.