Evaluation of the Malaga Bend salinity alleviation project, Eddy County, New Mexico

Open-File Report 80-1111




In an effort to reduce the flow of brine springs in the Malaga Bend reach of the Pecos River in southeastern New Mexico, brine was pumped from an aquifer underlying the Malaga Bend reach to a local depression known as Anderson Lake. The attempt to improve the quality of river water with this experiment was not successful because brine leakage from Anderson Lake to the nearby Pecos River through permeable subsurface rocks was greater than the previous natural spring inflow. Brine leakage from Anderson Lake from July 22, 1963, through September 30, 1968, was estimated by evaporation-pan, salt accumulation, and dissolved-constituent methods. The leakage values given by these three methods are in good agreement with each other and indicate that between the dates given, leakage from the lake was about 2 ,300 acre-feet, compared with a brine inflow to the lake of about 3,690 acre-feet. Other data indicate that pumping from the brine aquifer greatly reduced the natural inflow from brine springs to the Malaga Bend reach. The rate of brine leakage from Anderson Lake is probably greater than might be expected from other brine lakes in the area because the cavities in the bottom of the lake apparently are in hydrologic connection with the Pecos River. This connection is shown by a relation between the salinity of the Pecos River and the reservoir stage of Anderson Lake. (USGS)

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Evaluation of the Malaga Bend salinity alleviation project, Eddy County, New Mexico
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
iv, 37 p. ill., maps ;28 cm.
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