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Spring 2017 Runoff Increased on the Rio Grande and Rio Chama

Published April 24, 2017
The Rio Grande as it flows through Albuquerque, N.M.

The Rio Grande as it flows through Albuquerque, N.M.

Media Contacts:
USACE: Ryan Gronewold (505) 342-3340
Reclamation: Mary Carlson (505) 462-3576
Office of State Engineer: Melissa Dosher (505) 469-5698


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Albuquerque District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Bureau of Reclamation and the Office of the State Engineer anticipate extended high flow conditions along the Rio Chama downstream of Abiquiu Dam and along the Rio Grande downstream of Cochiti Dam through the spring of 2017. This is based on the snowmelt forecast in the April Water Supply Outlook Report from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

USACE projections show that these stream flows are likely to result in the need to make high controlled releases from Abiquiu Dam for as long as two months this year as snowmelt runoff is regulated to maintain safe flows downstream of the dam. Below Cochiti Dam, the river conditions through Albuquerque and south to Elephant Butte Reservoir are expected to be the highest sustained flows since 2008. These high flows could extend for as long as two months or more.

USACE, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Office of the State Engineer are coordinating on expanded river monitoring efforts through the runoff. We have also started enhanced outreach, communication, and river monitoring efforts with stakeholders below Abiquiu Dam on the Rio Chama.

In the middle Rio Grande Valley, Isleta to Socorro, USACE has started monitoring river and levee conditions and is actively meeting and coordinating with concerned stakeholders. These efforts will continue and be stepped up as necessary to insure the safety of stakeholders.


Ryan Gronewold

Release no. 17-005