Snapshot: New Mexico 2016 Regional Water Plans

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NM Water Planning Regions

Image: Website of the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer.

The following list provides key data related to 16 regional water districts in New Mexico, and a link to a draft water plan for each region.

The draft plans are part of a years-long process to develop both regional and a comprehensive state water plan for New Mexico.

More information can be found on the website of the State Engineer. Also read New Mexico In Depth’s accompanying story, Regional water plans reveal sobering future.

Region 1: Northeast New Mexico Region

Counties include: Union, Harding, Quay, Curry, Roosevelt
Size: 9,700 square miles
Population: 84,278
Per capita income range: $18,086 (Roosevelt County) – $21,179 (Curry County)
Primary source of water: 87% comes from groundwater
Total annual water use: 528,448 acre-feet per year
Primary water use in region: 89% of total water usage goes toward agriculture
Read the Region 1 draft water plan.

Region 2: San Juan Region

Counties include: San Juan, McKinley, Sandoval, Rio Arriba
Size: 9,700 square miles
Population: 142,820
Per capita income: $21,561 (San Juan County only)
Primary source of water: 99% comes from surface water
Total annual water use: 876,200 acre feet
Primary water use in region: 75% of total water use goes to agriculture within the region. The next two largest uses include: 12% is exported to the Rio Grande Basin via the San Juan-Chama Project and 6% is lost to reservoir evaporation.
Read the Region 2 draft water plan.

Region 3: Jemez y Sangre Region

Counties: Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba
Size: 2,100 square miles
Population: 147,432
Per capita income range: $20,253 (Rio Arriba County) – $50,740 (Los Alamos County)
Primary source of water: 77% comes from surface water
Total annual water use: 90,626 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 73% of total water use goes to agriculture
Read the Region 3 draft water plan.

Region 4: Southwest New Mexico Region

Counties: Catron, Grant, Luna, Hidalgo
Size: 17,337
Population: 62,747
Per capita income range: $16,545 (Luna County) – $22,415 (Grant County)
Primary source of water: 60% comes from groundwater
Total annual water use: 222,535 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 87% of total water use goes toward agriculture
Read the Region 4 draft water plan.

Region 5: Tularosa, Great Salt, and Sacramento River Basins Region

Counties: Lincoln, Otero; very small portions of Chaves, Eddy
Size: 6,916 square miles
Population: 65,616
Per capita income: $19,834 (Otero County)
Primary source of water: 70% comes from groundwater
Total annual water use: 32,814 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 63% of total water use goes to agriculture
Read the Region 5 draft water plan.

Region 6: Northwest New Mexico

Counties: Cibola, McKinley, San Juan (very small portion)
Size: 8,300 square miles
Population: 87,309
Per capita income range: $13,445 (McKinley County) – $15,508 (Cibola County)
Primary source of water: 86% comes from groundwater
Total annual water use: 27,793 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 25% of total water use goes to the public water supply. The next highest uses: 23% to agriculture, 12% to power plants, and 12% to domestic wells
Read the Region 6 draft water plan.

Region 7: Taos Region

Counties: Taos, Rio Arriba
Size: 2,300 square miles
Population: 33,035
Per capita income: $21,684 (Taos County)
Primary source of water: 80% comes from surface water
Total annual water use: 120,511 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 77% of total water use goes to agriculture
Read the Region 7 draft water plan.

Region 8: Mora-San Miguel Region

Counties: Mora, San Miguel, Guadalupe
Size: 9,700 square miles
Population: 37,796
Per capita income range: $14,189 (Guadalupe County) – $22,561 (Mora County)
Primary source of water: 93% comes from surface water
Total annual water use: 33,454 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 62% of total water use goes to agriculture
Read the Region 8 draft water plan.

Region 9: Colfax Region

Counties: Colfax
Size: 3,800 square miles
Population: 13,000
Per capita income: $21,087
Primary source of water: 92% comes from surface water
Total annual water use: 60,573 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 82% of total water use goes to agriculture
Read the Region 9 draft water plan.

Region 10: Lower Pecos Valley Region

Counties: DeBaca, Lincoln, Chaves, Eddy, small portion of Otero
Size: 17,000 square miles
Population: 143,796
Per capita income range: $19,357 (DeBaca County) – $27,092 (Eddy County)
Primary source of water: 70% comes from groundwater
Total annual water use: 597,279 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 85% of total water use goes to agriculture
Read the Region 10 draft water plan.

Region 11: Lower Rio Grande Region

Counties: Doña Ana
Size: 3,814 square miles
Population: 312,460
Per capita income:$19,517
Primary source of water: 60% comes from surface water
Total annual water use: 449,996 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 87% of total water use goes to agriculture
Read the Region 11 draft water plan.

Region 12: Middle Rio Grande Region

Counties: Valencia, Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance (small portion)
Size: 5,472 square miles
Population: 863,365
Per capita income range: $20,416 (Valencia County) – $26,848 (Bernalillo County)
Primary source of water: 70% comes from surface water
Total annual water use: 431,640 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 62% of total water use goes to agriculture. The next biggest use: 31% goes to public water supplies.
Read the Region 12 draft water plan.

Region 13: Estancia Basin Region

Counties: Torrance, Santa Fe, Bernalillo
Size: 3,800 square miles
Population: 32,694
Per capita income: $16,911 (Torrance County)
Primary source of water: 99.9% comes from groundwater
Total annual water use: 84,129 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 94% of total water use goes to agriculture
Read the Region 13 draft water plan.

Region 14: Rio Chama

Counties: Rio Arriba
Size: 3,300 square miles
Population: 6,790
Per capita income: $20,253
Primary source of water: 97% comes from surface water
Total annual water use: 98,084 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 68% of total water use goes to agriculture. The next highest use is 31% for domestic wells.
Read the Region 14 draft water plan.

Region 15: Socorro-Sierra Region

Counties: Socorro, Sierra
Size: 10,886 square miles
Population: 29,156
Per capita income range: $16,734 (Sierra County) – $17,795 (Socorro County)
Primary source of water: 79% comes from surface water
Total annual water use: 303,719 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 61% of total use goes to agriculture. Next highest use is 36% for domestic wells
Read the Region 15 draft water plan.

Region 16: Lea County

Counties: Lea
Size: 4,400 square miles
Population: 68,062
Per capita income: $22,484
Primary source of water: 99.06% comes from groundwater
Total annual water use: 197,099 acre-feet
Primary water use in region: 87% of water use goes toward agriculture
Read the Region 16 draft water plan.

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