Elephant Butte Reservoir, New Mexico’s largest, at 40-year low

By on August 9, 2013

Landsat image of Elephant Butte Reservoir (Credit: USGS)

NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite has captured images of New Mexico’s largest water reservoir – the Elephant Butte reservoir – that show it at drastic lows, according to a release. Drought is to blame for the decrease in water levels, experts say.

Adding to the mix were low snow melt from mountains and 90-degree temperatures. They combined to drop water levels in Elephant Butte to the lowest in 40 years. The reservoir’s highest level was 2.2 million acre-feet of water in the late 80s, but today that level sits at just above 65,000 acre-feet.

The state’s largest reservoir running low isn’t New Mexico’s only problem from drought complications. The state is currently the driest in America, with 80 percent of its land feeling some of the most extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

 Image: Landsat image of Elephant Butte Reservoir (Credit: USGS)

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