The Elephant Butte Reservoir was established by a 1938 pact among three states (Colorado, New Mexico and Texas) to allocate water from the Rio Grande among those states. But it has progressively dwindled over the decades, and is now down to just 5.6 percent of its capacity.
As water levels drop in Elephant Butte, Reclamation prepares for conditions not seen since the 1950s
“Recent rains have brought some relief to Elephant Butte reservoir in southern New Mexico, but the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is still preparing for low levels that have not been seen since the 1950s. Mary Carlson, a spokesperson for the BOR, said three decades of drought conditions where dry years have not been offset by multiple years of good precipitation have had a negative impact on reservoirs throughout the state—and Elephant Butte is no exception.“
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