December 28, 2010--Farmers who depend on runoff from snow melt worried by warmer winter weather (Los Angeles Times)

Farmers who rely on runoff from winter snowfall are worried about a predicted weather pattern of warmer, drier winter weather in New Mexico and southern Colorado. Farmers in southern New Mexico rely on the runoff once it reaches Elephant Butte Lake in the spring and summer. Right now, there's not much water stored in reservoirs that's designated for the Elephant Butte Irrigation District. The district has only about 16,000 acre-feet of water in reservoirs, said a district hydrologist, James Narvaez. In 2010, the district distributed 282,000 acre-feet of water to farmers, so by comparison, 16,000 acre-feet "is essentially zero," Narvaez said.

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