UNM Water Resources Program
Association of Water Professionals
Lunch Seminar by John Shomaker
Water in Deep Aquifers as a Potential Supply Near Albuquerque
Friday March 4, 2011
12:00 pm – 1:00pm
SUB Sandia Room
By 2009, notices of intent to develop about 1,000,000 ac-ft/yr from deep, brackish or saline ground-water supplies, under the exemption afforded by Sec. 72-12-25 of the water code, had been filed with the State Engineer. Proposed wells to produce about 245,000 ac-ft/yr were on the West Mesa or in the Puerco Valley. The intense interest is attributable to the very rapid increase in Middle Rio Grande water-right prices that began in 2004. The deep aquifers are not a newly discovered supply, and the water is not completely unrelated to the shallower aquifers and the surface-water system. The emphasis so far seems to have been on the feasibility of desalination, but the required infrastructure (and costs) to produce the water would be prodigious and must be considered, as should the longevity of any particular well-field.