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Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District
Board of Directors Passes Resolution Adopting New Meaures for 2015 Silvery Minnow Biological Assessment
The Board of Directors approved Resolution M-07-13-15-139 on Monday, July 13, 2015 at its regularly scheduled meeting.
The Resolution adopts additional and offsetting measures and conservation measures for inclusion in the 2015 Biological Assessment re-submittal.
Beginning August 10, 2015, the MRGCD Board of Directors meetings will begin at 3:00 p.m.
The Board approved the change on a unanimous vote at its July 13 meeting.
Meeting days will remain the same; the 2nd and fourth Monday of each month.
It has been a very long time since an update, and my apologies for that. It was a very busy spring, with an extremely dynamic water supply situation. But at least the news is good!
We are now in the second week of July, and the river is still running well. This is all natural flow, with no water is being released from storage. The last few years we have had to start releasing form storage in May already, so 2015 offers much needed relief both to irrigators and water managers. With the weather patterns we have been seeing, and what the forecasters are saying, this comfortable situation may last a while longer. Although I expect we will eventually need to release some storage this summer, every day we don't just puts us in that much better shape for next year.
The news on storage is nothing short of miraculous. We were able to store 81,600 Acre feet of water in El Vado this spring. Adding our SJC allocation (still short, but better than it could have been) to that we currently have over 92,000 AF in the reservoirs, and there will probably small SJC allocation this month. Best of all, the Rio Grande water was stored free and clear, outside of any RGC Art. VII restrictions, so existing storage credits did not have to be used. The RGC situation continues to get close attention of course. Elephant Butte is still quite low, and storing as much as we did this spring potentially causes a problem for us at the end of the year, but so far the natural inflows remaining high are helping us make deliveries to the Butte, and a good monsoon season could see us in good shape by December.
There has been some confusion about "rotation". Because of the favorable water supply, we are not on a "strict" rotation. However all deliveries must still be scheduled through the ISO (please give several days advance notice, if possible), and irrigators are expected to use water wisely. Also, we have experienced no water bank curtailment so far this year. Natural flows have remained well above the flow threshold, and we are now above the storage threshold for curtailment.
“Dog Biscuit Hill” Designed as Part of Rio Grande Valley State Park
The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Board of Directors are honoring a former Albuquerque City Councilor and Bernalillo County Commissioner by designating the Atrisco Heading Parcel as the Patrick J. Baca Open Space Unit
. This popular access point to the Bosque is also now included as the newest 12 acres of the Rio Grande Valley State Park.
At its regularly scheduled meeting, April 27, 2015, the Board of Directors, by way of resolution, designated the parcel, locally referred to as “Dog Biscuit Hill”, in honor of the late Patrick J. Baca, a former public servant and life-long resident of the Duke City.
“It is a privilege to honor Mr. Baca and his years of dedication to the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and the Great State of New Mexico.” says MRGCD Board Chairman Derrick J. Lente. “Now everyone can continue to enjoy our great Bosque while remembering this great man.”
The Patrick J. Baca Open Space Unit of the Rio Grande Valley State Park will be retained and owned by the MRGCD but will be maintained and managed for conservation, education, and recreation by the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division under the policies of the Rio Grande Valley State Park Management Plan and Joint Powers Agreement.
Read full resolution (here)
Board of Directors Sets Water Bank Lease Rates
At a Special Meeting, the MRGCD Board of Directors set the Water Bank lease rates for the 2015 irrigation season.
On a 7-0 vote, the board approved an administrative rate of $100, a water lease rate of $50/acre and a water service charge of $31/acre. These rates remain unchanged from 2014. The administrative fee can cover a 5-year period providing there are no changes by the land owner to any provisions in the Water Bank Lease.
The District will begin charging the canal system in preparation for the 2015 irrigation season, March 1.