Albuquerque Area Office

The Albuquerque Area Office is one of the largest in Reclamation reaching from the Alamosa area of southern Colorado through most of New Mexico and into west Texas. Staff here manage delivery of water on the Rio Grande, Rio Chama, Pecos, and Canadian rivers from the main office in Albuquerque and six field offices in Alamosa, Colorado; Alamogordo, Chama, Elephant Butte, and Socorro, New Mexico; and El Paso, Texas. This office is also responsible for overseeing the management of nine major dams with a combined reservoir storage capacity of more than 3.5 million acre-feet that supply water for more than 439,000 acres of irrigated land and several municipal drinking water projects. They also oversee hydropower production at Elephant Butte Dam, and research and testing at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination and Research Facility.

News and Highlights

  • News Release – August 23, 2021

    Summer rains keep more water in Elephant Butte

    ALBUQUERQUE N.M. - Steady rainfall in New Mexico and west Texas this summer has left many Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs with more water in storage than previously forecast. This is good news as the end of irrigation season approaches. Read More 

  • News Release – July 6, 2021

    Water and fish managers prepare for impacts of drought on the Middle Rio Grande

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - As drought conditions persist in the Middle Rio Grande, the Bureau of Reclamation and other water and fish managers are preparing for intermittent river conditions, drying in the Albuquerque area, and taking action to support the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow. Read More 

  • News Release – March 25, 2021

    Water flows from Azotea Tunnell into Willow Creek in northern New Mexico as the first tests of the San Juan-Chama Project are completed.Reclamation celebrates 50th anniversary of San Juan Chama Project

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bureau of Reclamation—s San Juan-Chama Project, which made its first official diversions in Colorado and deliveries of water through Azotea Tunnel and into Willow Creek in northern New Mexico for storage in Heron Reservoir on March 26, 1971. This milestone celebrates five decades of water delivery to New Mexico communities, farmers and recreationists. Read More 

  • News Release – September 28, 2020

    Reclamation joins state and local entities to stretch limited water supply into the fall on the Rio Grande

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – In a year with low spring runoff and lacking normal summer monsoon rains, Reclamation, the state of New Mexico, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority coordinated closer than ever and took actions together to stretch the limited supply to keep the Rio Grande flowing through Albuquerque while supporting as many uses as possible, including irrigation. Read More 

  • News Release – September 16, 2020

    Reclamation ensures stable water supply for Eastern New Mexico with $27 million funding award for rural water system

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation is providing $27 million over the next five years to the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority to continue work on a water system that will provide clean, reliable water for approximately 70,000 Eastern New Mexico residents. Reclamation will provide $14.75 million in fiscal year 2020. The remaining amount will be provided over the following four years as funds are available. Read More 

  • News Release – August 13, 2020

    Crews perform initial excavation of the hole for collector well number one of the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water SystemReclamation begins constructing water system under Aamodt Indian Water Rights Settlement

    POJOAQUE, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation began construction on August 10, 2020 on a water system that will bring clean drinking water to approximately 10,000 people and ensure a reliable water supply for residents of the Pueblos of Pojoaque, Nambé, San Ildefonso and Tesuque, as well as some residents of Santa Fe County. Read More 

  • News Release – April 16, 2020

    Reclamation Prepares for Below Average Runoff in the Rio Grande

    ALBUQUERQUE, NM – On the heels of a banner water year on the Rio Grande, water managers are again preparing to manage through drought as a below average runoff is expected this spring based on the current snowpack in the mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Read More 

  • News Release – February 27, 2020

    Reclamation begins releases for Rio Grande Project irrigation season and announces Annual Operating Plan public meetings

    Elephant Butte, N.M. – In the coming days, the Bureau of Reclamation will release water for the 2020 irrigation season on the Rio Grande Project, resulting in inundation to the dry riverbed below Elephant Butte and Caballo Reservoirs.

    Reclamation will begin releasing water from Elephant Butte Reservoir on March 3 at 8 a.m. The release from Caballo Reservoir will begin on March 13 at around 6 a.m. Initial releases from both reservoirs could reach around 2,000 cubic feet per second. The public is asked to avoid the river channel during the initial release and to be aware that flows will fluctuate throughout the irrigation season. Initial releases from Caballo Reservoir will meet demands of El Paso County Water Improvement District Number 1 and Mexico. The Elephant Butte Irrigation District plans to start irrigating the Rincon Valley at a later date. Read More 

  • Features – April 2, 2019

    To support learning and education in the Alamogordo, New Mexico, area the Bureau of Reclamation's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility hosted 545 students at the Fourth Annual Discovering Desal event. The students visited the facility from March 4-12 and came from the Alamogordo Public School System, two private schools and a local homeschooling group. Read More 

Last Updated: 8/23/21