Flows to Fluctuate in the Rio Grande

Media Contact: Filiberto Cortez, (915) 534-6301

For Release: May 15, 2012

The Bureau of Reclamation advises that flows in the Rio Grande below Elephant Butte and Caballo reservoirs down to El Paso, Texas will fluctuate significantly in the coming weeks.

Reclamation is regulating the flows in order to more efficiently meet irrigation needs of the Rio Grande Project water users. Extremely low water levels in both Elephant Butte and Caballo reservoirs have prompted water users to schedule releases from the reservoirs in a manner that will minimize transportation losses and maximize deliveries to the farmers and municipal users. This will result in a significant drop in river flows at times.

The gates for releasing water at Elephant Butte and Caballo dams are currently completely closed, and will not be reopened until late May of this year depending on the irrigation needs of the water users. Reclamation anticipates that the gates at both dams will be closed for the season in mid-August due to the low water supply.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.