The Rio Grande has a water depth of 3 feet within El Paso. (Nick Miller/

Drought makes water conservation more crucial than ever for El Paso

The Rio Grande and the lack of water in a desert city

EL PASO – The availability of water is a huge problem for desert cities like El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. While Juarez gets most of its water from underground aquifers, El Paso, during a good year, will receive about fifty percent of its water from the Rio Grande. But this northern stretch of the Chihuahuan desert has been in a drought for the past 16 years and El Paso is not receiving the normal allotment from the river. Currently, the Rio Grande has a water depth of only 3.19 feet within El Paso,in contrast to 1995, when water reached up to 14 feet, according to the International Boundary and Water Commission. Anai Padilla, water conservation manager for El Paso Water Utilities (EPWU), says the lack of water in Rio Grande can be noticed everywhere within El Paso.