Water Shortages Unlikely
EL PASO - The current streak of days with no rain stands at 103 days in El Paso, and the record of 109 days without rain is forecast to be eclipsed this weekend. In the New Mexico mountains, there was not a large snow pack from this winter to melt and offset the dry spring. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of western Texas and southern New Mexico is classified in the the "exceptional" drought catagory, the highest level. The lack of rain in the Borderland, however, does not mean that water shortages are in our future.
According to El Paso Water Services, conservation measures the utility introduced in another drought in the early 1990s will insure water will continue to be available, even if the drought persists into the monsoon, which is usually the time of year the Borderland gets its largest amount of rain. Conservation practices such as wastewater reclamation and the use of a desalination plant to process brackish water into potable water have allowed the previously strained groundwater supply to rebound.
Even with less available fresh water flowing into treatment facilities this summer, the groundwater supply will be sufficient to meet the city's demand. If the drought continues into next year, the utility will consider additional water restrictions, but until that time, no problems related to water supply are anticipated.