Severe Texas Drought Causing Part of Rio Grande River to Dry Up
You don't need me to tell you that there hasn't been a lot of rain in Texas so far this year. Sure, we've had storms move through but those storms have moved through quickly with only a brief period of rain. What we need is a several good storms, with three to four days of constant rain each, especially since we're about a month away from the official start of summer.
The Rio Grande River starts in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and travels south through New Mexico to form a border between Texas and Mexico then feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. It is a major water source for the people and wildlife of the areas it flows through.
Lately, the severe drought of Texas has caused parts of the Rio Grande River to dry up. One feeder creek to the Rio Grande, Terlingua Creek, is nothing but bedrock now.
The Rio Grande River has never been known for a steady flow anyway. But lately, the river seems more like its dying. Ernesto Hernández, co-founder of Boquillas Adventures, told bigbendsentinel.com,
I don’t see the future of the river [as] very optimistic, and I’ve been optimistic all my life. When you are involved with rivers, you understand their cycles. I’ve been watching this river die.
Others have observed that the river's flow is not carving anymore but silting, or bringing more sediment to the river bottom. With the lack of rain during this drought, there is less water to wash that sediment away.
Some also blame the Elephant Butte Dam which is in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. That dam basically spilt the Rio Grande River. The section that flows from the Rocky Mountains in El Paso is healthy and is know as the Upper Rio Grande. The section of river from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico is known as the Lower Rio Grande and doesn't have the flow it once had.
Needless to say, no matter the cause, the great river that once bordered southern Texas and northern Mexico isn't the waterway it once was. Only Mother Nature herself can bring it's luster back.