Albuquerque utility curtails river diversions

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority say they have curtailed drinking water diversions from the Rio Grande because of ash from the Las Conchas fire.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the utility did not shut down its diversion completely. Utility spokesman David Morris says by reducing the amount of water it takes from the river, it hopes to reduce the risk of ash fouling its water treatment system.

Thunderstorms pounded the Las Conchas burn area over the weekend, including storms that hit the Peralta Canyon area downstream from Cochiti Reservoir, where the ash can reach Albuquerque.

The manager for Santa Fe's Buckman drinking water diversion project says that system escaped problems, with no serious ash load in the river.