US water managers warn of dismal year along the Rio Grande

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This April 13, 2021 image shows the Rio Grande flowing through Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released its annual operating plan for the river Thursday, April 15, 2021, saying it’s going to be a tough year due to below average snowpack and spring precipitation. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal water managers have released their annual operating plan for the Rio Grande, and it doesn’t look good. Flows have been meager so far this year because of below-average snowpack and precipitation. The Rio Grande is one of North America’s longest rivers and a major water source for millions people and thousands of square miles of farmland in New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

The Bureau of Reclamation warned Thursday that a stellar monsoon season would be the only saving grace, but the odds of that happening are slim. That means there will be less water for farmers this growing season, and the river could possibly go dry through Albuquerque.

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