ELEPHANT BUTTE, N.M. (KRQE) – There is more beach than lake right now at Elephant Butte State Park. Water levels are well below average and it’s got people’s attention, especially Marcos Rivera. He comes almost once a week during the summer months with his boat.

“This is the lowest I have ever seen it. I’m kind of nervous about sandbars and rocks. Even at the inspection station, they said to be very careful because there is rocks and sandbars, so that’s worrisome because that can be dangerous,” Rivera said.

Data shows a decrease in the water level over the last 7 days, it’s decreasing by half a foot daily. Right now Elephant Butte is approaching 50,000-acre feet of water but officials it should be at least ten times that or more.

“It’s worrisome because if there is no more water then this community gets hurt, and Las Cruces gets hurt, El Paso gets hurt, and it’s just a total bummer,” Rivera said. “I am worried that we may not be able to come here for much longer.”

Officials say since about 2019 the water at Elephant Butte has been below average and the lake hasn’t been able to meet full irrigation demand for quite a few years. That’s devastating to local farmers who were only allocated about a foot of water this season rather than the usual three feet or more.

“The main impact is that it’s a significant reduction in irrigation water supplies for over 150 thousand acres of farmland but also provides a supply of water to Mexico as well. So numerous communities and countries, in this case, Mexico, are affected by the low water supplies at Elephant Butte,” Mike Hamman, the New Mexico State Engineer said.

The drought even has some people rethinking how they use the lake.

“We got a jet ski because it’s just a lot easier to deal with the jet ski with the low water levels,” Blair Sallee, a lake goer said.