Feds: Rio Chama boasts most robust spring runoff in years

Gila National Forest

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Federal water managers say flows on the Rio Chama are on the rise, marking one of the most robust spring runoffs in years.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is releasing 3,000 cubic feet per second from El Vado Reservoir into the river to keep up with the snowmelt.

Agency officials say they also want to ensure there’s enough room to safely store additional water that’s expected to fill the reservoir as more snow melts in the higher elevations.

Forecasters say about 100,000 acre-feet of runoff will reach the reservoir before the end of July. One acre-foot equals more than 325,000 gallons, or 1.2 million liters.

Officials say the higher flows will provide opportunities for recreation over the long weekend, but they’re also urging people to be cautious of the faster flows.

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