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Spring runoff, late rains boost reservoirs in New Mexico

November 17, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal water managers say good spring runoff and heavy rains in the fall helped to boost reservoir levels in New Mexico this year.

The Bureau of Reclamation announced this week that the Rio Grande in 2017 marked its highest spring runoff since 2008. The Rio Chama, the largest tributary to the Rio Grande in New Mexico, had its sixth best spring runoff since 1956.

Officials say the good flows allowed for the first time in four years a full allocation of water to those who depend on the San Juan-Chama project.

Heron Reservoir stores water from the project. It currently holds nearly 150,000 acre-feet, significantly more than last year. One acre-foot (1,200 cubic meters) is enough to supply a typical U.S. family for a year.

In the south, Elephant Butte and Caballo reservoirs also marked higher levels.

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