New Mexico Adapts to Decades of Drought Caused by Climate Change
University of New Mexico Director of Water Resources John Fleck said it’s good news short-term, but the reprieve is mostly due to a generous monsoon season and may not last.
"It’s a lot warmer, and so for a given amount of rain and snow that falls, less of that ends up in the river,” Fleck explained.
As far as adapting to climate change, Albuquerque has grown by 120,000 residents in the last 20 years, but consumes less water now than in 1985.
But that is twice what it was at this time last year.
Fleck said one unexpected consequence of the drought was greater attention to water conservation by New Mexico residents and farmers.
"It’s not all doom and gloom,” he said.
"People have done well in New Mexico at adapting to drought and climate change over the last 15 years.
So we’ve shown good adaptive capacity and resilience to respond to the changes that we’re seeing."
Since the 1990s, more than 60 million acres of forest have suffered die-offs.
Roz Brown, Public News Service – NM