Due to rapidly rising reservoir levels, the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, has increased the release of floodwaters from Falcon Dam.
Releases into the Rio Grande were increased July 13 to 39,700 cubic feet per second (1125 cubic meters per second). This is the same rate of release as occurred July 8-10 before releases were temporarily reduced to 15,000 cubic feet per second (425 cubic meters per second) on the evening of
This water will flow downstream into the Lower Rio Grande Valley where the Commission has a system of flood control levees, diversion dams, and floodways. Releases at this rate are well within the capacity of the U.S. portion of the Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project that extends from Peñitas to the Gulf of Mexico. Residents in the Rio Grande Basin should continue to monitor National Weather Service warnings and forecasts for updated information and river forecasts concerning flood conditions.
The International Boundary and Water Commission began diverting floodwaters at Anzalduas Diversion Dam in Hidalgo County, Texas into the U.S. interior floodway early on July 8. The volume of water diverted into the interior floodway will continue to rise significantly due to the releases from Falcon Dam and inflows from Mexican tributaries downstream from the dam. The Commission is also diverting water into Mexico’s interior floodway at Retamal Diversion Dam. The U.S. interior floodway includes channels known as the Banker Floodway, Main Floodway, North Floodway, and Arroyo Colorado through portions of Hidalgo, Cameron, and Willacy Counties. The last time the International
Boundary and Water Commission diverted water into the U.S. floodway was in 1988 due to the effects of Hurricane Gilbert.
Staff from the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission’s Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project remain in Flood Fight Operations. During this phase of response, crews patrol
flood control levees 24 hours per day to identify and respond to any problems that could arise such as erosion along the levees, freeboard encroachment, or seepage on the land side of the levees.
At the Commission’s uppermost reservoir, Amistad Dam, located at Del Rio, Texas-Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, flood releases continue at the rate of 26,000 cubic feet per second (750 cubic meters per second). The Commission has been releasing floodwaters from Amistad Dam since July 5.
Information about Rio Grande flow as well as storage and release data from U.S. and Mexican reservoirs in the Rio Grande basin is available on the USIBWC web page at: http://www.ibwc.gov/Water_Data/Reports/RG_Flow_data.html