New Mexico received such little snow this winter that experts are now predicting dry conditions for the coming months, and with only one month of the snow season remaining, it’s highly unlikely the snowpack will reach normal levels. That will leave the state with a reduced water supply during the spring and summer when the risk of wildfires is especially high.
Although we saw reports of extreme snow storms around the country this winter, none of it had an effect on New Mexico. Here in the Land of Enchantment our reservoirs are still affected by the drought.
Wayne Sleep is a Hydrologic Technician for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service -the NRCS- he says that most basins are sitting as low as 60 percent of what they should be, which translates into less runoff into the rivers.
“Some of the water that actually melts is going to go into the soil before it runs into streams. On top of that, if we hold onto this dry- spell that we’ve had this spring, the potential for an active fire season is definitely there.”
The NRCS will continue to conduct snow surveys and issue regular water supply forecasts through April to get a more complete picture of where the New Mexico water supply will end up, but they do not foresee conditions getting better.