Snowpacks and the Rio Grande

Climate change is affecting the world very quickly with correlation to our consumerism ideals.  As we follow the never-ending cycle of produce, consume, and dispose; global warming and many natural disasters follow right behind us.  When we dispose of our waste, we usually dispose of it in ways that harm our planet (i.e. landfills, litter, incineration, waste into our natural resources, etc.).  These detrimental, wasteful acts cause the climate and weather patterns to change and this affects the people, animals, organisms, and plant life on our planet, Earth.

penguin global warming(“Stop Global Warming”)


In Albuquerque, we have our wonderful Rio Grande and it is slowly depleting.  One of the only main sources of water, going back into the river, is from the melting of the snowpacks each spring.  Snowpacks are “a mass of snow on the ground that is compressed and hardened by its own weight.”  These snowpacks are mostly found in Colorado, mainly Durango, which gets roughly 71” of snow per year [].  When spring comes back around, the snow melts due to the increase in temperature and the water, or “Spring Runoff”, rushes down into the Rio Grande, other rivers, and lakes.  The river becomes much more abundant in the spring, but as the year goes on, it becomes less and less copious.  New Mexico is a drought-ridden desert with the name, “The Land of Enchantment.” But it’s not very enchanting if it is just dirt and a dry river bed.  We don’t have much water to begin with, and the water that we do use is from the Rio Grande, other states, and from our aquifer.  With our fast wasteful uses for water, we drain the only water that we have and that causes us to use other states’ water, which they need, too.


(A snowy mountain, the source of the “Spring Runoff”)

Our state is a desert oasis.  It really is enchanting, but the warm and dry climate plus our water wasting habits will most likely result with life being unmanageable in New Mexico.  If we didn’t have the “Spring Runoff” from the snowpacks in Colorado, our river would be depleted much faster.  Global Warming is changing the climates that people have become used to and they are impacting ecosystems and habitats, plant life, animal life, microorganisms, and, of course, our lives.  As we continue to waste our world’s resources, global warming will only get worse and worse. We need to change our habits of overusing water and overconsuming when we don’t need to and we need to take steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle for the world altogether.

~Meygan 🙂




3 thoughts on “Snowpacks and the Rio Grande

  1. wow. Those pictures are stunning. One of the pictures between the 1st and 2nd paragraph is not working. Wow it is unsettling to know how our runoff and river flow is dependent of the snow. We’ve been getting less and less every year. It is not enough to help us in the future. Great Job!

  2. This is a very interesting idea to explore. I like that you connect snowpacks to a broader theme including consumerism and wastefulness within the first paragraph, but it would be nice if you came back to that at some point in the article. Also I think it would be easier on the eyes if the pictures were integrated into the text as opposed to just being at the end of the post.

  3. Really good information and truly stunning pictures. I think that your whole post will look way better if you are able to fix the first photo. I had the same problem and all you have to do is mouse over “Student Investigation” in the tool bar at the top and click “edit”. Once you are in the “Edit Post” view, delete the picture entirely and re-upload it with the “Add Media” button.

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