Drought and Climate Change on Water Resources, Hearing Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session to Receive Testimony on the Current Drought Conditions Affecting New Mexico and the Status of Reports to be Issued Pursuant to Sections 9503 and 9506 of the Secure Water Act Regarding a Review of the Current Scientific Understanding of the Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources and an Assessment of the Risks Associated With Climate Change on Water Resources in Certain River Basins, Santa Fe, NM, April 27, 2011   [open pdf - 319KB]

From the opening statement of Jeff Bingaman: "Despite receiving a little moisture over the past few days at least in some parts of the State, the majority of the State is experiencing a severe drought that has impacted irrigation and municipal and environmental water supplies. The current Drought Monitor maps indicate that no part of New Mexico is without impacts. The southern one-third of the State is experiencing extreme drought conditions, having had little or no rainfall for several months. Below normal precipitation and snow pack resulted in flows in the Rio Grande that are forecast to be 39 percent of normal. Irrigators will have to use more water from storage this year than was otherwise expected. Some municipalities such as the city of Las Vegas will come close to using up a majority of their existing supplies. Environmental flows will also be impacted because of the natural flows in many of the State's stream systems being reduced. Challenges due to an increased population, environmental demands, and climate change as well are present even during our normal water years. The drought conditions that we're experiencing at this time make the ongoing stresses even more difficult to manage. […] Communities throughout the State will need to continue to engage in water planning activities and water conservation efforts. Cooperative efforts such as water banking and shortage sharing agreements will be essential tools to help communities maintain economic stability even in times of drought. Maintaining cooperation between Federal, State, and local entities to address emergency situations such as fires will be all the more important." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Jeff Bingaman, Michael Connor, David DuBois, Brian H. Hurd, Esteven Lopez, Corbin L. Newman, and Jonathan Overpeck.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 112-16; Senate Hearing 112-16
Public Domain
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