Southwest drought. The Rio Grande is dry in New Mexico


New Mexico ranchers and farmers are selling cattle, deciding which crops to let die, and praying the drought ends soon. Their big crops are chiles and pecans. Farming relies on water from aquifers replenished by the Rio Grande. But the wells are going dry. Pecans are especially vulnerable, they must have water or will die within a year.

From journalist John Fleck, who took the photo.

It’s the Rio Grande. The entire stretch through southern New Mexico has been completely dry since last summer, save for a few places where groundwater seeps, either hydrothermal stuff or leakage from upstream dams, wet the channel.

The Rio Grande is now at its lowest recorded level ever. Fleck says cliff swallows have built nests near the river waiting for the bugs to come. But will there be any bugs this year?