Amid a withering drought, New Mexico leaders struggle to plan for life with less water
Though the Rio Grande runs through the heart of New Mexico’s biggest city, you can easily miss it. Even from places where you’d expect to see water — designated parking areas near the river or paths along which you carry a boat to cast off from the nearest bank — it’s often invisible behind a screen of cottonwoods. Through much of the city, it hides behind businesses, warehouses, and strip malls.
From the riverbank or on the river itself, these curtains create a rare reprieve, a place in an urban area that can be mistaken for a pocket of wild. City noise infrequently penetrates the cottonwoods that beat back the heat and hum with insects and birdsong on summer days. The river often runs a murky, reddish beige that matches its muddy banks.