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Preliminary study of the aquifers of the lower Mesilla Valley in Texas and New Mexico by model simulation

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4317

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Abstract

The aquifers in the lower Mesilla Valley of Texas and New Mexico provide water for irrigation, industrial use, and municipal supply. The shallow aquifer principally is used for irrigation. The medium-depth aquifer and deep aquifer are used by the city of El Paso for municipal supply, about 120,000 acre-feet per year in 1975. The potential use of the medium-depth and deep aquifers for irrigation, together with a planned increase in pumping by the city, is causing concern about the impact of this development. A three-dimensional digital model of the aquifers was developed to evaluate the responses of water levels to various schemes of development, with particular emphasis on the medium-depth and deep aquifers in and near the Canutillo well field. The model simulations indicate that if pumpage increases to 10,000 acre-feet per year from the medium-depth aquifer and to 20,000 acre-feet per year from the deep aquifer, and elsewhere is constant, then additional lowering of water levels would be as much as 24 feet in the medium-depth aquifer and as much as 52 feet in the deep aquifer. The water levels would decline sharply during the first few months, after which the levels would become nearly stable because the leakage between the aquifers probably is enough to balance the increased pumpage. The model also indicated that lining of the channel of the Rio Grande would result in an additional lowering of water levels by 10 feet in the medium-depth aquifer and 8 feet in the deep aquifer. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Preliminary study of the aquifers of the lower Mesilla Valley in Texas and New Mexico by model simulation
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
84-4317
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1984
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 21 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.