Urban Storm-Water Program in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area
Science Center Objects
As part of the surface-water drainage system of the Albuquerque metropolitan area, numerous ephemeral channels collect and transport surface water through the urban area and, eventually, into the Rio Grande.
Rapid urbanization since 1970 has increased precipitation runoff to these channels, which in many instances return flow to the Rio Grande. As an important element of the City of Albuquerque’s water-resources management, accurate hydrologic data are needed for designing storm drainage and addressing storm-water-quality regulations established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) and the City of Albuquerque, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, began a program in 1976 to collect hydrologic data to help assess the quality and quantity of surface-water resources and determine long-term trends in the Albuquerque area. To meet regulatory requirements, long-term streamflow data are analyzed in conjunction with water-quality sampling to compute constituent loading over time. In addition, accurate hydrologic data are necessary to calibrate computer models that aid engineers and city planners in the estimation of storm-water runoff.
During any particular water year (October 1 to September 30 of the following year) since 1976, a selected number of streamflow-gaging stations and rain gages are operational in the Albuquerque urban-data collection program. The number of gaging stations and rain gages may change for any one water year. Gaging stations measure runoff from undeveloped basins as well as urbanized watersheds. A selected number of gaging stations also are used for water-quality sampling sites. All data are recorded at 5-minute intervals and transferred from field recorders to the USGS electronic database approximately every month. Rainfall data are collected annually using tipping-bucket rain gages.
- Install, operate, and maintain data-collection networks in the Albuquerque metropolitan area
- Collect surface-water, precipitation, water-quality, and other datasets determined by cooperator needs
- Produce data products, as required, to meet cooperator needs
Obtain surface-water, rainfall, and water-quality data for water-quality monitoring, rainfall/runoff modeling, storm-flow predictions (flood frequency), and other hydrologic analyses, as needed by local and other government agencies.
Recording Crest-State Gages