New Mexico Drought Emergency

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NM Gov. Declares Drought Emergency

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP)?Gov. Gary Johnson declared a state of emergency because of the drought and asked New Mexicans to conserve water.

``We are not going to run out of water, but we need to use the water that we have wisely,'' Johnson said Friday.

Governors in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Arizona have made similar drought emergency declarations.

New Mexico received only about half as much rain and snow as normal from October through March. Reservoir levels are at their lowest point in the last 20 years, the mountain snowpack has largely disappeared, and stream and river flows are less than one-third of average, officials said.

Dry spring winds have made things worse.

``Conditions have rapidly deteriorated since the first of the month,'' said Ed Polasko, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The declaration will free state funds to help with such measures as providing emergency water to communities, hauling water for livestock or fisheries and fighting fires.

The declaration carries no restrictions on water use.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press