Research — Hydrogeology
Adequate water resources are vital to New Mexico. We have worked on hydrogeologic studies throughout the state. These are some of our projects.
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There are 6 projects that match your criteria:
Estimating Groundwater Recharge for the Entire State of New Mexico
Groundwater is replenished by a process called recharge, where snowmelt and rain infiltrates through the soil and slowly moves through the subsurface to eventually reach an aquifer. Because groundwater recharge defines a limit for the availability of groundwater, estimating recharge for the state of New Mexico is necessary for effective water resource management.
New Mexico: Regional Brackish Water Assessments
As New Mexico considers the use of desalinated brackish water (less than 10,000 mg/L total dissolved solid) to diversify the public water supply, many questions must first be answered. Where are the brackish water resources? What data are available? What exactly is the water chemistry? How feasible is it to use brackish water for public supply?
Water Data Act
The Water Data Act (NMSA 1978, § 72-4B) marks the first time in New Mexico’s history that a law has been enacted to identify and integrate key water data. In response to this 2019 legislation, the directing agencies including NM ISC, NM OSE, NMED, and EMNRD, as convened by the NMBGMR, are working toward developing an integrated Water Data Service for New Mexico. Multiple working groups have been convened, working to ensure that the data and useful information about the data is findable, accessible, interoperable, and usable for those seeking water information for decision making related to water management and planning – the primary goal of the legislation. The initial data platform can be found at newmexicowaterdata.org as a first data inventory step for this multi-year project.
Project lead: Stacy Timmons
Statewide Water Assessment: Groundwater Levels and Storage Changes
Changes in water levels can reflect very relevant water issues in the arid southwest, such as depletion of the aquifer, variations in nearby surface water, fluctuations in recharge, and changes in the groundwater storage. For this study, we are compiling water level data, in an effort to begin development of a statewide water level change contour map.
Development of 3D Aquifer Maps
It is surprising that New Mexico does not have a detailed map of all of the productive and accessible aquifers across the state. In a state with as little as 0.24% of our land surface covered with water (the least in the country!), having detailed maps of our groundwater resources and aquifers, is essential. Some of our neighboring states, like Texas and Colorado, have these maps already available, and are successfully being used to administer and conserve water. We have started a new multi-year project to develop 3D maps of aquifers.
The Healy Collaborative Groundwater Monitoring Network
The Aquifer Mapping Program at New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR), with funding from Healy Foundation and the USGS, has created the statewide Healy Collaborative Groundwater Monitoring Network for New Mexico. This voluntary network began in 2016 and gathers new and existing data on groundwater levels to help us understand how our state's groundwater resources are changing through time, promote increased awareness of water issues around New Mexico, and provide an important foundation for making informed water-management decisions.