New Mexico farmers along Rio Grande face early water cutoff

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FILE – This Feb. 17, 2021 file photo shows an empty irrigation canal at a tree farm in Corrales, N.M., Montoya Bryan)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Hundreds of farmers along the Rio Grande in central New Mexico face a second straight year of irrigation supplies being cut off early.

The board that oversees the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District voted Friday to end irrigation deliveries a month early because of low water availability.

The Oct. 1 shutoff means that winter crops are at risk. The board said the shutoff is necessary because of long-term drought and a large water debt owed to users in southern New Mexico and Texas.

The district’s decision is driven in part by a decades-old water-sharing agreement that governs river water deliveries among Colorado, New Mexico and Texas

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