High Plains Ogallala Aquifer Study, Roosevelt County, New Mexico
New Mexico participated with five High Plains states and the High Plains Associates in the Six-State High Plains-Ogallala Aquifer Area Study. The purpose of the study was to estimate the economic impacts over a 40-year planning horizon resulting from rapidly rising energy costs and the declining Ogallala aquifer water tables in Roosevelt County.
Four management strategies including a baseline, voluntary water conservation, mandatory irrigation water supply reduction, and interstate importation were evaluated.
For the baseline, the total gross output of all goods and services for Roosevelt County was about $119 million in 1977. It is projected to be $154 million in 1985, $192 million in 1990, $235 million in 2000, and $251 million in 2020. The differences in gross output among the management strategies are due to changes in the agricultural sectors.
The most important sector is agriculture which contributed about 63 percent of the total output in 1977. Even though the other sectors are projected to expand, agriculture is projected to contribute about 47 percent of the total in 2020.
The mining sectors are projected to have a small economic impact, increasing from about $4 million in 1977 to about $18 million in 2020. The trade sector is expected to expand faster than any of the other sectors, increasing from $9 million in 1977 to almost $25 million in 2020. The manufacturing sectors are projected to also increase from $9 million in 1977 to about $24 million in 2020.
The total employment in Roosevelt County in 1977 was 1,967 and is expected to increase to 3,151 by 1990 then decrease to 2,491 by 2020. Trade was the largest employer in 1977 throughout the period accounting for about 28 percent of the total in 1977, 31 percent in 1990, and 22 percent in 2020.
The alternative management strategies basically had very little impact on the economy of Roosevelt County. The voluntary strategy results in total output in 2020 of $12,000 more than the baseline. Under the mandatory strategy, output is $1.226 million more than under the baseline, and under the importation strategy output is $2.232 million more than the baseline. The impact on employment of the alternative management strategies in Roosevelt County is also minor. The voluntary strategy results in 41 more jobs than the baseline in 2020. The mandatory strategy is projected to have 37 more jobs than under the baseline and the importation strategy to have 117 more than under the baseline. Population in the county is projected to be affected in a similar manner as employment under the alternative strategies. Voluntary is projected to result in 142 more people than under the baseline in 2020, mandatory 120 more people than under the baseline, and under importation 363 more people than under the baseline in 2020.