EBTAG Annual Workshop and Field Trip
October 12-13, 2017


The Evolution of the City of Santa Fe Water Supply towards greater Sustainability and Resiliency

William H. Schneider1 and Rick Carpenter1

1City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM, whschneider@ci.santa-fe.nm.us

The City of Santa Fe, New Mexico (Santa Fe) is pursuing greater water supply sustainability and resiliency through a combination of adaptation strategies developed to confront projected supply shortages caused by changing climate and long-term drought. The City and County of Santa Fe, along with the United States Bureau of Reclamation completed a 2015 Basin Study that evaluated a 40-year projection of the potential impacts of climate change on its current surface water supply sources including the Santa Fe River, Upper Rio Grande, and Upper San Juan River and assessed vulnerabilities and system deficiencies in Santa Fe’s current long-range water supply strategies designed to meet higher demands for source water in the future. A series of adaptation strategies for mitigating the risk of future supply shortages were analyzed using a multi-criteria dynamic systems simulation model WaterMAPS.

The Basin Study analysis indicates the current supply strategies are inadequate to meet future demands because of longer periods of drought, greater fire risk resulting in degraded water quality, the need to reduce groundwater pumping to sustainable levels, and growing population. As a result, combined adaptation strategies that emphasize regional water management collaboration, more efficient use of recycled wastewater, and stronger conservation measures will be incorporated into the already diverse water supply portfolio of Santa Fe to ensure greater system resiliency. The 2017 Santa Fe Water Reuse Feasibility Study (FS) completed under Reclamation’s Title XVI Program critically explored ways for optimizing use of recycled wastewater that include combinations of direct and indirect potable use, return flow credits, aquifer storage and recovery and advanced irrigation applications. The FS concluded the highest value use of wastewater was to return the non-consumed portion of its San Juan Chama Project water from the Paseo Real Wastewater Plant to the Rio Grande via a reuse pipeline so that it can be re-diverted and fully consumed through the existing Buckman Direct Diversion (BDD).

This talk will present Santa Fe’s water management strategies which are designed to ensure water supply diversity through sustainable use of both surface and groundwater, aquifer storage for drought reserves, water conservation, forest management, optimizing reservoir operations, energy reduction and regional collaboration for providing effective adaptation strategies needed to meet future demand under changing climate conditions.

15th Annual Espanola Basin Technical Advisory Group Workshop and Field Trip
October 12-13, 2017, Santa Fe Convention Center