NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As the federal government makes cuts on the seven states drawing water from the Colorado River, many are now asking, what cuts could New Mexico see and how will this imapct farmers across the state?
Most of the Southwest is suffering from a devastating drought and states to our West are seeing cuts to what they can get from the Colorado River. New Mexico farmers sat they’ve been getting less and less water from there and not really relying on it.
“We get a maximum of 20,000 acre feet a year and that number is always adjusted to how much the watershed up there will actually produce,” said chile farmer Glen Duggins.
New Mexico receives the least amount of water divided between the seven states. New Mexico chile farmer Glen Duggins says because of that he believes we won’t face further cuts from the federal government because they are looking to make substantial cuts.
Duggins says New Mexico’s cut will come from what the watershed will actually produce, so if the watershed only produces 50% of the 20,000 acres we are allotted then the state will only get that 50%.
The issue farmers are now facing is despite the drought and less access to waer they need for crops. The demand for these items and expectations are still high.
“You come down to that plant and it just requires what it requires there’s no way to magically tell it I want you to produce but I want you to produce with less water,” said Duggins.
Duggins did say monsoon season here in the state has made a positive impact on the drought level but it’s also caused them to delay chile season in order to get weeds and excess water cleaned up. He says he will be able to start on chile season next week.