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


Water Reuse Strategies for Santa Fe: Plans and Progress

William H, Schneider1, Kelley Collins2 and John Rehring3

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


3P.E., Carollo Engineers, Inc.

The City of Santa Fe, New Mexico (Santa Fe) has a thirty-year history of water resource planning, resulting in ten major plans that have built on each other to form today's diverse water supply portfolio and a vision for the future. A common conclusion among each of these plans is that water reuse is critical for meeting water demands, consistent with a holistic and sustainable approach to efficient management of water supplies. The Santa Fe Basin Study, completed in 2015, concluded that a supply gap of between 5,000 and 9,000 AFY is likely based on population growth and changing climate conditions. The Basin Study recommended a portfolio of adaptation strategies that included purchasing additional water rights, increased conservation, and use of reclaimed water.

The City immediately acted to implement the Basin Study recommendations for future water supply, with an emphasis on more closely defining the gap and how water reuse can best mitigate the projected gap. Santa Fe then launched several projects: the Santa Fe Water Reuse Feasibility Study, the Basin Study Update, and the Long-Range Water Supply Plan Update.

The goal of the Santa Fe Water Reuse Feasibility Study (WRFS) was to identify the highest value use of reclaimed water produced by the City’s Paseo Real Water Reclamation Facility. Completed in 2017, the WRFS evaluated seven reuse alternatives using a two-step analysis process. Alternatives (expansion of non-potable reuse, several indirect potable reuse alternatives, and direct potable reuse) were first screened using weighted criteria. The remaining four alternatives were rated using a triple bottom line analysis. The highest-ranked alternative is to convey reclaimed water to the Rio Grande and exchange it for an equal amount of additional diversion using the existing Buckman Direct Diversion.

The 2015 Basin Study projected water supply gaps that would occur in 2055, the end of the planning period. The Basin Study Update will project water supply and demand at intervals over the planning period, to understand how quickly the water supply gap will develop. The City’s water planning tool, WaterMAPS, will also be updated to test the effect of applying the adaptation strategies on the projected water supply gap.

The Long-Range Water Supply Plan, completed in 2008, is being updated to apply the results of the Basin Study Update. Once the timing of the future supply gaps is known from the Basin Study Update, the yield from the highest-ranked reuse strategy from the WRFS will be applied to the gap. The Long-Range Water Supply Plan Update will then evaluate supplemental water supply sources to mitigate the remaining gap, such as onsite water capture and reuse, conservation technologies for large turf areas, and expanded municipal conservation.

Santa Fe is now in initial phases of validating the implementation feasibility of the highest-ranked alternative from the WRFS. This includes verifying the infrastructure and permitting requirements through preliminary design of a return flow pipeline and pump station from the Paseo Real Water Reclamation Facility to the Rio Grande and the initial process of identifying necessary permits to implement the project. Key to this process is significant outreach and coordination with project partners, partner agencies, and stakeholders.

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