El Paso, TX (KTSM) — El Paso water managers are continuing their efforts to keep residents’ waterlines filled this summer as a devastating drought grips the region.
John Balliew, El Paso Water’s president told KTSM 9 News the drought has reduced the community’s water sources.
“Snow pact, runoff rainwater that we’re expecting combined with the low level water at Elephant Butte right now, means that we’re going to have limited water supply,” Balliew said.
“The El Paso area as well as the most southern part of new Mexico has fallen under a level D-4 which means an exceptional drought… That is something we haven’t seen in nearly ten years,” National Weather Service Jason Laney said.
The drought has also brought water levels in the Rio Grande to all time lows.
“Half of our water year round, most of which comes during the summer, comes through the Rio Grande, this year it’s probably only going to be 10-15 percent,” Balliew said.
The question now on everyone’s mind, are we prepared to keep water in our city’s pipes?
“In many countries and even states, cities only get their water from one source,” added Balliew. “In El Paso, even though we are in a desert we are fortunate to have more than one source of supplies”.
That includes the Rio Grande, two aquifers, and a recleaning water plant.
El Paso also the home to the worlds largest Desalination Plant, which has purified ground water for years, pumping out 27 million gallons of water in one day.
“In El Paso were in even better shape when it comes to drought,” Balliew said with pride.
He added that El Paso Water has big short term and long term plans in the Borderland if the drought is expected to continue.
That includes, drilling more aquifers and investing in a larger recleaning plant for waste water.