Projections of Water Availability in the AWR and Pecos River Basins to the Year 2005
The management of New Mexico water resources requires an understanding of the magnitude of future water scarcity conditions so that planning can be provided which attempts to mitigate social costs associated with competition for available water supplies. Current and projected water supply and demand conditions are analyzed here for the Arkansas, White and Red rivers (AWR) and the Pecos River basins in eastern New Mexico based on 1980 economic, demographic, and water use information.
The combination of 1980 water use data reported by the State Engineer Office and economic and demographic data (provided by several sources) allows calculation of water use coefficients per unit of economic activity and per capita water demand requirements. The analysis is provided for each county served by the water resources of the two basins. Future water scarcity conditions are assessed at both the county and basin-wide level in relation to 1980 water supplies and potential increases in those supplies as identified by the State Engineer Office.
Evident from the analysis is the limited growth and corresponding limited increased water scarcity conditions. which are expected to be found in the AWR Basin by 2005. In contrast, growth in the economy and population of the Pecos River Basin. and particularly the southern portion of that basin, results in significant demand increases in a region that for many years has been experiencing water scarcity conditions. Uncertainties with respect to future water supplies and demand are also identified for these two water basins.
Keywords: Economics, demographics, water supplies, arkansas, white and red rivers, water use data