State Impacts

This tool sorts and displays impacts by state from the Drought Impact Reporter through 2022. Users can filter impacts by U.S. Drought Monitor status, season, weeks in drought, industry and date range. The Drought Impact Reporter records impacts that have been documented in news media. This may provide insight on what to expect when a state is experiencing a certain level of drought.

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Start Date Seasons Weeks in Drought Historically observed impacts Impact Description
2021-09-07fall0New Mexico ranchers sold livestockDrought led many New Mexico ranchers to sell livestock as it was too expensive to feed them. Even after an active monsoon season, roughly two-thirds of the state remained in moderate to extreme drought. Drought conditions decrease animal growth, diminish forage opportunities for livestock, increase the cost of production and decrease calf prices, according to a report from the New Mexico State University Department of Animal and Range Sciences. Santa Fe New Mexican (N.M.), Sept 7, 2021
2020-07-20summer0New Mexico chile growers watering with groundwaterNew Mexican chile growers were pumping groundwater heavily to water the chile while the Rio Grande River wasn’t flowing. KOB 4 (Albuquerque, N.M.), July 20, 2020
2020-06-15summer0New Mexico governor urges bans on fireworks salesNew Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order urging the state’s cities and counties to consider banning the retail sale of fireworks. Tucson (Ariz.), June 17, 2020
2020-05-28spring0Open burn ban in Otero County, New MexicoThe Otero County Commission approved an open burn ban above 5,500 feet in unincorporated parts of the county as drought and strong winds elevated the fire danger. Affected areas included the Lincoln National Forest, private lands and subdivisions near the Lincoln National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and state forestry lands. Alamogordo Daily News (N.M.), May 29, 2020
2020-05-20spring0Fire restrictions in three forests in northern New MexicoMonsoon moisture allowed the lifting of Stage 3 restrictions for the Carson, Cibola and Santa Fe national forests on July 29. Santa Fe New Mexican (N.M.), July 27, 2020 Three national forests in northern New Mexico implemented fire restrictions to limit the likelihood of human-caused fires in the Carson, Cibola and Santa Fe forests. Dry conditions were a concern, as is the potential for COVID-19 transmission among firefighters. The restrictions began May 20. Campfires and driving off designated roads were prohibited. Associated Press (N.Y.), May 15, 2020
2020-05-13spring0New Mexico state forester lifted fire, fireworks restrictionsThe Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department Forestry Division ended the smoking, firework, campfire, and open fire restrictions for all non-municipal, non-federal, and non-tribal lands effective July 24. KRWG TV/FM (Las Cruces, N.M.), July 24, 2020 The New Mexico state forester imposed restrictions on fireworks, campfires and other activities on all non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands statewide, due to the rising fire danger. Associated Press (N.Y.), May 15, 2020
2020-04-15spring0Open flames prohibited in New Mexico's Lincoln National ForestWith the start of the monsoon season, the campfire ban in the Lincoln National Forest in southern New Mexico was lifted. Associated Press (N.Y.), July 23, 2020 Open flame campfires were prohibited in Lincoln National Forest since April 15, but despite the restriction, firefighters responded to 42 illegal campfires in the forest in June. Farmington Daily Times (N.M.), June 23, 2020
2020-01-02winter0Wheat stressed by drought in northeastern New MexicoWheat in northeastern New Mexico was manifesting signs of drought stress. Associated Press, Jan. 2, 2020
2019-07-23summer0Pastures suffering, stock water supplies down in New MexicoContinuing hot, dry, windy weather in New Mexico increased the fire danger, depleted soil moisture, and hurt pastures and stock water supplies. High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal (Dodge City, Kan.), July 23, 2019
2019-07-23summer0Crops damaged in Dona Ana County, New MexicoThe cotton, onion and pepper crops in Dona Ana County were damaged as hot, dry, windy weather persisted. High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal (Dodge City, Kan.), July 23, 2019
2019-06-26summer0Funds to prepare New Mexico county, communities for droughtThe Pueblo of Zia, Santa Fe County and the City of Las Cruces were jointly awarded $1.3 million through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART Program to prepare for drought. Las Cruces will receive $262,453 for the purchase of a portable water filtration system to eliminate wasted water associated with distribution system flushing. The flushed water will be collected, cleaned and returned to the distribution system. Las Cruces Sun-News (N.M.), June 26, 2019
2018-01-01winter0Heat, drought increased tree mortality in New Mexico in 2018Forest mortality increased almost 50 percent in New Mexico in 2018 as extreme heat and drought made trees more susceptible to damage from insects. More than 120,000 acres of ponderosa pine, spruce, piñon and other trees died, according to an annual report on state forest health. Ponderosa pine bark beetles killed nearly 53,000 acres of ponderosa pine, mostly in the Gila National Forest. Spruce beetles eliminated about 45,000 acres of high-elevation, mature Engelmann spruce. Some of the affected spruce involved 26,000 acres in the Santa Fe National Forest and about 12,000 acres in the Carson National Forest. The piñon ips bark beetle was found on 2,800 acres, an increase from 90 acres in 2017. Most of the affected piñon was in the Gila National Forest. Santa Fe New Mexican (N.M.), March 25, 2019
2017-12-01winter0Few trails open at Taos Ski Valley in New MexicoJust 14 of the 111 trails were open at Taos Ski Valley, due to poor snowfall. The resort has an 18-inch base of man-made snow and were trying to stay positive until genuine snow arrives. As many as 5 percent fewer workers were at work this season, with the marketing manager stating that they were trying to offer people as many hours as they could, believing that snow will eventually fall. Santa Fe New Mexican (N.M.), Jan. 7, 2018
2017-12-01winter0Workforce halved at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos, New MexicoAt the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos, the workforce has been halved from 130 employees to 65 people, and just two of its six lifts were running, according to a manager. Santa Fe New Mexican (N.M.), Jan. 7, 2018
2017-12-01winter0Not enough snow to open at Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area in Taos, New MexicoThe Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area in Red River has not been able to employ its seven employees and has not even opened for the season. To help the resort make payments to the U.S. Forest Service and pay other bills, singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey held a benefit concert for the resort. The operation may close permanently if it cannot bring in enough money to cover costs this year. Enchanted Forest relies on natural snow and cannot make its own. Santa Fe New Mexican (N.M.), Jan. 7, 2018
2017-12-01winter0New Mexico ski business down about 30 percentOverall ski business in New Mexico was down about 30 percent, according to George Brooks, executive director of Ski New Mexico, an industry association. Most resorts have the capability to make snow and were doing so to their most popular runs. ABQJournal Online (Albuquerque, N.M.), Jan. 26, 2018
2016-06-20summer0Wildfire with potential to grow in Santa Fe National Forest in northern New MexicoFirefighters were fighting a fire in the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico. The blaze had claimed just a few acres, but could feed on heavy fuels in the area and grow quickly. The Battleship Rock area, the Jemez Falls campground, Hummingbird Music Camp and YMCA Camp Shaver were threatened by the flames. Durango Herald (Colo.), June 21, 2016
2016-06-14summer0Fast-moving wildfire in central New MexicoA wildfire near Chililili in central New Mexico incinerated more than 26 square miles, 24 homes and numerous other structures as the forecast hot, dry and windy weather will make controlling the fire a challenge. The fire was spotting about a half-mile ahead. Governor Susana Martinez declared an emergency to allow state resources to be available to help with the fire. Deming Headlight (N.M.), June 17, 2016
2016-06-06summer0New Mexico governor warned of fire danger, urged consideration of fireworks banNew Mexico Governor Susana Martinez warned local officials of “high winds, dry conditions and warm temperatures” and urged them to consider the viability of banning fireworks. She urged municipalities and counties to hold emergency meetings to determine whether the area should adopt a fireworks ban. Portales News-Tribune (N.M.), June 14, 2016
2016-01-01winter0Early start to fire season in New MexicoNew Mexico’s fire season has taken off early with more than 130 wildfires and more than 45,000 acres burned by April 2, which was a big increase over the 2015 fire season. Moisture was more plentiful in 2015, supporting the growth of grasses that have since dried out and become potential fuel for 2016’s wildfires. New Mexico has received little precipitation since the middle of January. ABQJournal (Albuquerque, N.M.), April 2, 2016
2015-08-24summer0Drought-tolerant landscaping being planted in Las Cruces, New MexicoLas Cruces city crews were replacing turf in public areas and landscaping medians with drought-tolerant plants to further conserve water. Durango Herald (Colo.), Aug. 24, 2015
2015-03-15spring0Water shortages, disagreement over temporary water leases in New MexicoShort water supplies have Ruidoso officials seeking state approval to temporarily lease and divert Rio Ruidoso River water, but 260 downstream Hondo Valley irrigators adamantly protest the state engineer’s decision to permit the temporary lease. The irrigators also resent what they see as Ruidoso’s water use and poor planning. The downstream water users also accuse the state engineer of violating their due process rights when he okayed the village permit to lease and begin diverting water before a public hearing was held. A similar situation was playing out in the Carlsbad Irrigation District. Several New Mexico politicians have sponsored a senate bill to prevent the state engineer from allowing nonemergency temporary water leases without first holding a public hearing and ensuring adequate supplies for senior water right holders. Las Cruces Sun-News (N.M.), March 15, 2015
2015-03-05spring0New water ordinance in Eunice, New MexicoThe Eunice city council recently passed a water ordinance to encourage the public to conserve water as drought plagued the community. Conservation was needed all the more since a water line break occurred, wasting one to two million gallons of water. Las Cruces Sun-News (N.M.), March 5, 2015
2012-03-27spring0Drought brings more horses to the shelter in Farmington, New MexicoA horse rescue shelter in Farmington has all of the horses that it can care for, but horses owners continue to offer their horses to the shelter because they cannot afford to purchase expensive hay for their animals. Some of the horses placed in homes last year were returned to the shelter as hay prices continued to rise. Farmington Daily Times (N.M.), March 27, 2012
2012-03-27spring0Hay prices high in Aztec, New MexicoBales of hay weighing 60 to 70 pounds were selling at $12.50 per bale, compared to $5 to $6 per bale in recent years, according to an employee at an Aztec feed and supply business. Scarcity of hay and high demand has driven prices up. Farmington Daily Times (N.M.), March 27, 2012
2011-01-01winter0Conservancy district in Quay County, New Mexico went without irrigation water for last three yearsGrowers in the Arch Hurley Conservancy District have not received any water from the 2011 through the 2013 growing seasons, due to drought. Rain fall in the fall of 2013 will allow irrigators to receive one-fifth of a full allocation. The lack of irrigation water has meant economic hardship for the Tucumcari area since farmers have had little income from cotton, alfalfa and milo. Two area car dealerships have closed in recent years, stated the manager of the Archer Hurley Conservancy District. ABQJournal Online (Albuquerque, N.M.), May 29, 2014
2011-01-01winter0Sixteen counties in New Mexico received federal disaster declarationSixteen counties in New Mexico were declared to be natural disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture due to ongoing drought since January 1, 2011. The counties affected by the declaration include Bernalillo, Cibola, Colfax, Guadalupe, Harding, Lincoln, McKinley, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Taos, Torrance, Union, and Valencia counties. Neighboring counties in New Mexico also eligible for aid are Catron, Chaves, De Baca, Los Alamos, Otero, Quay, San Juan, Sierra and Socorro. This declaration permits affected farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency. KOB-TV NBC 4 (N.M.), July 13, 2011 and the USDA's Farm Service Agency website.
2010-11-01fall0Drought reduced number of visitors, revenue at New Mexico ski areasDrought and insufficient snow hurt visitation to ski areas in New Mexico during the 2010-2011 winter season. Compared to the 2009-2010 winter season when almost 1 million skiers spent $541 million, visits were down 25 percent while revenue was off $155 million during the 2010-2011 winter season.
2010-10-01fall0Farmers in Eddy County, New Mexico left fields fallow for lack of waterFarmers in Eddy County left their fields fallow for at least a couple of years, due to record drought in the region, beginning in October 2010. Abundant rainfall in September 2013 encouraged farmers to plant again. ABQJournal Online (Albuquerque, N.M.), Nov. 5, 2013
2010-02-20winter0Grass not growing in eastern New MexicoGrass has not grown in eastern New Mexico for the past two years, due to drought. Consequently, the wildfire season in the eastern part of the state in 2012 was not anticipated to be bad with possibly 25 percent of the fire activity seen in 2011, when more than 1,800 wildfires charred over 1 million acres, making it the worst wildfire season on record. Farmington Daily Times (N.M.), Feb. 20, 2012
2009-09-12fall0Wild horse population reduced in Jicarilla areaForty-six horses from the Jicarilla area were rounded up since range conditions have deteriorated from drought and livestock grazing. Future livestock grazing will be limited to allow the range to recover. An estimated 413 horses remain.
2009-08-18summer0Drought declaration for seven New Mexico countiesSeven counties in New Mexico were declared to be natural disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture due to drought and strong winds. The primary counties affected by the declaration include Chaves, DeBaca, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero, and Roosevelt counties, while the contiguous counties are Curry, Dona Ana, Guadalupe, Quay, Sierra, Socorro, and Torrance. This declaration permits affected farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency.
2009-08-14summer0Elephant Butte Irrigation District ends season earlyThe irrigation season is ending early for farmers who get water from the Elephant Butte Irrigation District since summer rains and snow runoff were a disappointment. The irrigation season ends on August 28 this year instead of the latter part of September or October. Farmers are concerned that they may not have enough water to finish their crops.
2009-07-22summer0Drought and other factors limiting population of white-sided jackrabbit in New MexicoThe roughly 150 white-sided jackrabbits that live in the southwestern part of New Mexico are declining in population due to drought, grazing, wildfire suppression, and shrub growth within their habitat.
2009-04-29spring0Union County farmers and ranchers eligible for disaster reliefUnion County farmers and ranchers may apply for disaster aid since the area is contiguous to Texas counties that received disaster declarations for drought damage.
2009-04-01spring0Small businesses in New Mexico eligible for aidSmall businesses in New Mexico are eligible for federal disaster loans from the Small Business Administration for financial loss due to drought and strong winds from April 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. The counties include Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, Curry, De Baca, Dona Ana, Grant, Guadalupe, Harding, Lincoln, Luna, Otero, Quay, Roosevelt, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Torrance, Union and Valencia. The declaration makes small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nurseries eligible for loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Farmers and ranchers should not apply.
2008-10-31fall0Disaster declaration sought for seven New Mexico countiesA disaster declaration is being sought by two of New Mexico’s senators for seven counties in southeastern corner of the state in response to damage from drought and strong winds starting in October 2008. The counties include Chaves, DeBaca, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero, and Roosevelt.

To view simple examples of impacts reported in the past in each state at different levels of drought, check out our tables of historically observed impacts.