Anticipated Low Flows in the Rio Grande May Cause Buckman Direct Diversion Operations to Temporarily Cease River Water Diversions

Buckman Direct Diversion (BDD) anticipates a potential temporary shutdown of diversions from the Rio Grande as early as this weekend due to expected low flows in the river.

Flows in the Rio Grande at the diversion are expected to drop rapidly once the last water stored for irrigation in the Middle Rio Grande (downstream of Cochiti) has been fully used. BDD is currently diverting imported San Juan Chama (SJC) water, and will continue to divert SJC water until physical limitations of the diversion structure render continued diversions impractical. River conditions at the BDD diversion location will continue to be monitored closely, and diversions will be curtailed if low flows limit the ability to divert. If flows reach or go below 300 cubic feet per second, BDD will temporarily cease river water diversion.

The BDD Board of Directors have been made aware of this operational plan.

Santa Fe’s diverse water supply portfolio includes three other sources, and these will continue to meet the drinking water needs of the Santa Fe area during any BDD shutdown. These sources include:

  • Canyon Road Water Treatment Plant (CRWTP) accessing water from the Santa Fe watershed reservoirs
  • City of Santa Fe well/aquifer system (in city limits)
  • City of Santa Fe Buckman well/aquifer system

Since BDD came online in 2011 the wells have been rested, and the aquifers have seen substantial recovery and are ready to fill the gap when and if surface water supplies are not available. A crew will continue to work onsite at the BDD facility to perform scheduled maintenance and general duties. Once BDD is able to divert water again from the Rio Grande, our BDD maintenance and operations staff will resume their regular duties at the BDD facility.

BDD’s Administrative staff will continue their daily work-from-home duties as assigned and will not be affected by the diversion closure changes.

For questions, please contact Rick Carpenter, BDD Facilities Manager at