An Analytical Interdisciplinary Evaluation of the Utilization of the Water Resources of the Rio Grande in New Mexico
An interdisciplinary approach to the solution of the water resource problems of the Rio Grande region in New Mexico was made possible by the integration of hydrology, geology, and engineering with economics. Research procedures developed to carry out this study were closely coordinated by the investigators to achieve the primary objective of evaluation of the social and economic impacts of alternative water-use policies.
A socio-economic model was developed to represent the New Mexico economy, with special emphasis placed Upon the Rio Grande region. Inputs into the socio-economic model were obtained From separate studies covering the hydrological, agricultural, municipal, and industrial areas.
Three sets of alternatives were considered: 1) growth without a water constraint; 2) growth, holding surface water constraint; 3) growth, holding both surface and ground water constraint.
Without a water constraint, both production and depletions are expected to exhibit the largest increase (59.2 percent and 49.6 percent, respectively). When a surface water constraint is imposed, thee value of production is reduced by only $5.6 million in the year 2000, and by 514.2 million in 2020; water depletions are expected to decrease about 27 percent by 2020. When a total water constraint is imposed, the value of production is decreased $2.7 million below that expected when using only a surface water constraint, and water depletions are reduced only slightly.
Project Nos. B-022, B-019, and B-016-NMEX