ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Friday marked the beginning of the irrigation season for the middle Rio Grande Conservancy District as the ongoing drought weighs heavily on water allotments.
Irrigation water diverted from the Rio Grande is now flowing into canals and ditches served by the conservancy district.
But officials warn the drought is still a major factor affecting how much water can be used for irrigation and for how long.
This irrigation season is forecast to be worse than last year.
"We're going to have to conserve water as much as we can," MRGCD Board Chairman Derrick Lente said. "We're going to have to use the water judiciously. The MRGCD will try to manage it and schedule people accordingly."
Farmers will not be able to use the water for a couple more weeks.
MRGCD members irrigate about 70,000 acres along nearly 150 miles of river from Cochiti to below San Antonio.
With the canals now filling the Ditch Water and Safety Task force is also warning people and kids to avoid playing in and around irrigation ditches.
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