Estimated Water-Level Declines in the Santa Fe Group Aquifer System in the Albuquerque Area, Central New Mexico, Predevelopment to 2002

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2002-4233
Prepared in cooperation with the City of Albuquerque
By:  and 



In the Albuquerque metropolitan area of central New Mexico, residential water-supply requirements have historically been met almost exclusively by ground-water withdrawal from the Santa Fe Group aquifer system. The rapid population growth of the metropolitan area from about 262,200 residents in 1960 (Karen D. Thompson, U.S. Census Bureau, written commun., 2002) to about 712,700 residents in 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001) has resulted in a large increase in the number of municipal-supply wells operated in the region and the total quantity of water they withdraw per year. The largest municipal supplier is the City of Albuquerque, which delivered about 35.8 billion gallons of water to approximately 450,000 people during 1997 (files of the City of Albuquerque) and operates more than 90 municipal-supply wells. Other nearby important suppliers include the City of Rio Rancho and the Town of Bernalillo. The large quantity of ground-water withdrawal in the Albuquerque metropolitan area relative to ground-water recharge has resulted in water-level declines in the Santa Fe Group aquifer system across much of the region. Analysis of the magnitude of and patterns in water-level declines can improve understanding of how the ground-water system responds to withdrawals and how the system might be managed in the future to minimize water-level declines and operating costs of water suppliers.

Suggested Citation

Bexfield, L.M., and Anderholm, S.K., 2002, Estimated water-level declines in the Santa Fe Group aquifer system in the Albuquerque area, central New Mexico, predevelopment to 2002:U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02–4233, 1 sheet,

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Data Sources
  • Methods of Estimating Water-Level Change
  • Implications for Ground-Water Flow and Response of the Aquifer System to Pumping Stress
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Estimated water-level declines in the Santa Fe Group aquifer system in the Albuquerque area, central New Mexico, predevelopment to 2002
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 2002-4233
DOI 10.3133/wri024233
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New Mexico Water Science Center
Description 1 sheet: 34.0 x 24.0 inches
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