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Block release of water scheduled to begin from Santa Rosa Reservoir

Published July 3, 2019

SANTA ROSA LAKE, N.M. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District, has scheduled a block release of water from Santa Rosa Lake to start Sunday, July 7, 2019, at 8:00 am. 


The Bureau of Reclamation, acting on the behalf of Carlsbad Irrigation District, requested the 23,000 acre-feet release.


The block release from Santa Rosa Lake is scheduled to last until July 15 or 16 to transfer water to Sumner and Brantley Reservoirs.


“The final date and time for the end of the release will depend on when the full release of 23,000 acre-feet is complete,” said Garret Ross, Pecos and San Juan Basin Manager in the Albuquerque District’s Water Management Section.


Based on current conditions, the lake’s elevation at the beginning of the release is estimated to be at 4,740.9 feet, or approximately 70,700 acre-feet. At the end of the release, the lake’s elevation is estimated to be at 4,732.1 feet, or approximately 46,700 acre-feet. This equates to about an 8.8 feet drop in lake elevation during the block release. The final drop in elevation depends on the actual inflows into the lake.


The release is not expected to significantly impact fishing and recreation at the lake.


Santa Rosa Dam is the first major dam along the Pecos River, and its reservoir has a 2,434 square mile contributing drainage area. The other two dams, Sumner Lake and Dam, and Brantley Dam, are owned by the Bureau of Reclamation. The Santa Rosa Reservoir is a main component in the Pecos River Basin comprehensive plan, providing irrigation storage, flood control, and sediment retention.


Although the reservoir is a Corps' managed lake, the campgrounds and most recreation areas at Santa Rosa Lake are managed by New Mexico State Parks. 



Elizabeth Lockyear

Release no. 19-009