Water...We all -- including Texans -- drink it, we bath in it, we try to turn the desert into a lush lawn, and we can drown in it. To quote another Marty Robbins song that's not "El Paso," "...cool, clear, water."

Where does El Paso get a lot of its water from?

The very first line on the El Paso Water website says, "El Paso receives nearly half its annual water supply from the Rio Grande."

When they open the Elephant Butte Reservoir a magical sight occurs. The dusty bed of the Rio Grande suddenly turns into a trickle, then flow, of life-giving water. The soil is nourished from the vineyards and pecan trees in the Upper Valley to the cotton fields in the Lower Valley. Farmlands throughout the Borderland come alive thanks to the life-giving water.

Kevin Vargas
Kevin Vargas
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Can you drink the water directly from the source?

Even so, drinking water straight from the Rio Grande is not advised and is a serious health risk. Plus, authorities are warning that this year's abundance of water does create a water hazard for those playing in our full river because of the increased volume.

Kevin Vargas
Kevin Vargas

This year water came early and plentiful.  The El Paso Times reported with Elephant Butte Damn and its reservoir at 24.7% the water was to be released on March 8. El Paso Inc. reported, "El Paso is slated to get close to 100 million gallons per day flowing through the Rio Grande from the Elephant Butte dam over a full 30-week river season."

But that's not all the water brings, it provides satisfying sights of the way El Paso was meant to be seen and wonderful photo opportunities. Whether it's a bright sunny day, the horizon obscured by a dust storm, or glistening under a full moon, the Rio Grande looks better full with full of life shores than when a barren exposed dusty river bottom.

Enjoy the full Rio Grande while we've got it because it won't last and will be better suited for dirt bikes rather than nature photographers soon enough.

Check out some photos of the Rio Grande here:

Water Flowing Through the Rio Grande in EL Paso, Texas

When the Rio Grande is full it brings so much life to El Paso.

Gallery Credit: Kevin Vargas

Most Dangerous Animals Found in Texas Lakes & Rivers

Gallery Credit: Emily Claire

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