Caballo lake Dam | Hatch Green Chile Update

Good morning from Caballo Lake in southern New Mexico, just above Hatch. It's 6:01 AM, and they have just opened the gates for the water to start coming down the Rio Grande. I don't know if you can hear it or not, but they just opened it. They opened it a little bit slowly. You can see the water starting to move here. And slowly but surely, they'll turn this on more and more until I won't be able to stand here. So you see a little bit of water here in the river. There's a little bit of seepage out of the dam from both sides. So this is always got a little bit of water in it here and some fish, but it soon dries up, just down below. And so there's no water in the Rio Grande. I've shown you pictures that it's bone dry, but not for long because they just turned it on. You can see the light, the house up there that's got a light on there, up there, opening the valves, and you're starting to hear it a little louder and louder as the water comes down. Here it comes. See, it's starting to bubble up there and getting louder and louder. And there a couple of guys up top there, they're looking at me like, Hey, you might want to get out of there, but I've done this before, and it takes a while for the water to get to where I'm at. So. So we'll go down a little later today, and you'll see when it's coming around the corner on that dry riverbed.

Now it's starting to get loud. They're opening it more and more here. There are two guys standing up at the top. I don't know if you can see them. And here it comes. See, the water starting to move now, and it's really starting to come. And yes, I probably ought to get out of the place where I'm at because I am right on the side. And you can see the water starting to move here and really starting to come through. There we go. I'm going to step up here a little bit because it's coming up on my feet. Some tumbleweeds getting out of the way. Yeah, they've got it. They've got it opened up now. Caballo Lake is at the highest level I've seen in 20 years. It's; actually, it's absolutely full and which is great news. The lake up above, which feeds Caballo Lake, is called Elephant Butte, and it is about 20% of capacity. But the snow melt or the snowpack is at about 200% of normal in Colorado. That feeds the Rio Grande. And so we're hopeful and excited that maybe the lake will actually come up this year. We, in the past, have gotten about one and a half irrigations per year out of the Rio Grande, and the rest we have to pump. But this year, look at the water going now. Boy, there we go!

It's really starting to go. Pretty cool. But this year, they're going to give us about four irrigations, which is almost a foot of water. They measure it by an acre-foot, and we're getting right at a foot of water this year. Each irrigation takes about four inches, so we'll get more water than normal. Well, I hope you've enjoyed watching the release of the Rio Grand here. The river down by hatch is bone dry right now, but this water is headed there, and it'll be there. It'll take about a day to get to hatch, a day and a half, and then they'll start irrigating the day after next. They'll be able to start irrigating out of the surface water. In New Mexico, we get both surface water and well water. If you have land that has water rights, then you get about five and a half acre-feet of water. Look at this water go down. Oh, yeah. So if they give you five and a half acre-feet, they give you a foot from the surface from the Rio Grande. And they determine that each year by how much water is available, then you can pump the balance up to five and one-half acre-feet per acre of water righted land. And that's what we use now on the drip system, which most of our Chile is on the drip system. We will only use about three acres, two and a half acres to three acre-feet per acre of Chile. If you're flooding, you'll need every bit of five, five, and a half acres depending on your soil type. The sand takes a lot more than a heavy clay. So good morning from southern New Mexico. I hope you have a great day. We're glad the water is on its way. Do you want to feed those chile plants? We're going to enjoy it. Have a great day, and eat more chile. Bye.

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