Video+Story: Rio Grande Water Arrives in El Paso

El Paso received its first allotment of water from the Rio Grande Monday; the first flow of what will eventually total approximately 50,000 acre feet of river water for this season, or 40 percent of total water demands.

Via a Facebook post, EPW Officials said, “The amount of water we receive from the river plays a critical role in our water management strategies. The more water we receive, the less we need to pull from the local aquifers. It allows the aquifers to recharge, which makes us better prepared for any future drought conditions.”

A video shows water reaching the Jonathan W. Rogers Water Treatment Plant Monday afternoon.

In total, the plant will receive approximately 20 million gallons of water in just one day.  This year’s allotment is comparable to last year.

Officials add, “We have seen a steady increase in our total allotments but still remain below pre-drought levels”

According to EPW’s Website, El Paso Water Utilities supplies about 90% of all municipal water in El Paso County.  Surface water is supplied from the Rio Grande.  The Rio Grande flows that are diverted in the El Paso area are primarily derived from snowmelt runoff in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.   Spring runoff is stored in Elephant Butte Reservoir in southern New Mexico before releases are made for irrigation and municipal use in southern New Mexico and the El Paso area.

The allotment will run from April through the end of September.