Demands for ground and surface water have increased in the upper Rio Hondo Basin due to increases in development and population. Local governments are responsible for land-use and development decisions and, therefore, the governments need information about water resources in their areas. Hydrologic data were compiled for the upper Rio Hondo Basin and water-level data were collected during two synoptic measurements in March and July 2003.
Water-level data from March 2003 were contoured and compared with contours constructed in 1963. The 5,600-, 5,700-, and 5,800-foot March 2003 contours indicate that water levels rose. The 5,500-foot contour for March 2003 indicates a decline in water level. The 5,400-foot contour of March 2003 and the 1963 contour mostly coincide, indicating a static water level. The 5,300- and 5,200-foot contours for March 2003 cross the 1963 contours, indicating a decline in water levels near the Rio Ruidoso but a rise in water levels near the Rio Bonito. In eight hydrographs, 2003 water levels are shown to be higher than water levels from the mid- to late 1950's in five of the eight wells. For the same period of record, water levels in the three remaining wells were lower. Rising and declining water levels were highest in the northern part of the study area; the median rise was 4.01 feet and the median decline was 3.51 feet. In the southern part of the study area, the median water-level rise was 2.21 feet and the median decline was 1.56 feet.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Selected hydrologic data for the upper Rio Hondo basin, Lincoln County, New Mexico, 1945-2003
Scientific Investigations Report
iv, 28 p. report : ill. (some col.), col. maps ; 28 cm.