July 5 2018 01:06 PM

Expected summer rains are late in coming.

Now that the Independence Day celebrations are over, New Mexicans return to worrying about drought as water levels at the state’s largest reservoir continue to drop and rivers dry to mere trickles, according to an Associated Press story published in MySA (San Antonio, Texas).

Every square mile of New Mexico is dealing with some form of drought. The federal drought map released Thursday shows that neighboring Southwestern states are just as parched.

Climate forecasters who prepare the federal map each week said significant monsoonal rains have yet to reach most of Arizona. Only scattered spots of southern and eastern New Mexico received over an inch of rain this past week.

Elephant Butte reservoir in southern New Mexico is about 18 feet lower than last year at this time, a condition that is blamed on a lack of winter snowpack. There wasn’t much rainfall or runoff over the winter, either. Boaters visiting the reservoir may be out of luck; state park authorities say they may have to close boating access areas because of the low water levels.