The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA), has developed a series of maps and associated reports, beginning in 2002, that document groundwater levels in the production zone of the Santa Fe Group aquifer system beneath a large area of the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico (hereafter called the study area). Herein, we document the construction of groundwater-level change maps for representative conditions during three periods: 2002–8, 2008–12, and 2008–16.
Groundwater-elevation changes correspond to water use by the ABCWUA, with declines occurring prior to 2008 and accelerating recovery after 2008. Prior to 2008, the ABCWUA relied exclusively on groundwater from the Santa Fe Group aquifer system for municipal water supply. For the period 2002–8, near the end of the period of exclusive groundwater use, groundwater elevations in the production zone of the Santa Fe Group aquifer system declined as much as 20 to 30 feet. The largest 2002–8 groundwater-elevation declines were observed near the southeast corner of the study area and to the west of the Rio Grande. Since the ABCWUA implemented the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Project in 2008, the proportion of municipal water supply sourced directly from surface water has increased to approximately two-thirds of the total water supply in 2016. Following initiation of this change in supply in 2008, groundwater elevations in the production zone of the Santa Fe Group aquifer system cumulatively rose as much as 20 to 30 feet by 2012 and 30 to 40 feet by 2016. The largest groundwater-elevation rises were observed near the northeast and southeast corners of the study area and to the west of the Rio Grande, whereas groundwater-elevation declines since 2008 were restricted to a localized area on the eastern margin of the study area. The area beneath the pre-flood-control-era (1971) flood plain of the Rio Grande underwent the least amount of groundwater-level change during any period, with minimal change prior to 2008 and small groundwater-elevation rises of less than 10 feet since 2008.
|Title||Groundwater-level change for the periods 2002–8, 2008–12, and 2008–16 in the Santa Fe Group aquifer system in the Albuquerque area, central New Mexico|
|Authors||Andre B. Ritchie, Amy E. Galanter, Lucas T.S. Curry|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Map|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||New Mexico Water Science Center|