Open-file Report -
Hydrogeologic Framework of the Estancia Basin, New Mexico
B. Talon Newton, Colin Cikoski, and Bruce Allen
New Mexico relies heavily on groundwater, as it accounts for over 45% of total water use (withdrawals) in the state. Future demand for groundwater will likely increase as surface water supplies decrease due to effects of climate change. Groundwater levels in aquifers throughout the state have been declining, primarily due to groundwater being extracted by pumping and evapotranspiration (the combination of evaporation and vegetation transpiration) at higher rates than it is replenished by groundwater recharge, and the Estancia Basin is no exception. It is largely a rural area with a decades-long tradition of farming and ranching, despite a paucity of surface water. The Estancia Basin and its residents are almost fully dependent on groundwater for water resource needs, with surface water use accounting for only ~0.1% of water withdrawals.
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