Hydrologic Studies in the East Mountain Area of Bernalillo County, NM

Science Center Objects

Recent expansion of suburban development and population growth in the Sandia Mountains of eastern Bernalillo County, NM (East Mountain Area, EMA), has led to increased residential and commercial construction and increased demands on available water resources. Information about the spatial and temporal variability of water resources is needed for continued population and economic growth.

USGS scientists have developed the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEBop) evapotranspiration (ET) estimation model. ET estimation enables the quantification of other components of the water budget, such as recharge, which is critical to understanding sustainable water use.

Base Map, New Mexico Water Science Center

Base Map, New Mexico Water Science Center

(Public domain.)


  • Collect precipitation and snow survey data (2001-present)
  • Collect micrometeorological and soil data (2013-present)
  • Collect continuous data from wells and springs (2005-present)
  • Make data available in ADAPS
  • Collect and analyze remote-sensing ET data, calibrate SSEBop model, and use SSEBop to create ET mapping products for the EMA
Lansat ET, New Mexico Water Science Center

Lansat ET, New Mexico Water Science Center

(Public domain.)












Improve understanding of the amount and spatio-temporal variability of water resources in the EMA by:

  • Monitoring precipitation, micrometeorological data, snowpack depths, and groundwater data
  • Developing regional ET estimates