An Analytical Interdisciplinary Evaluation of the Utilization of the Water Resources of the Rio Grande in New Mexico Upper Rio Grande Region
An interdisciplinary approach to the solution of the water resource problems of the Upper Rio Grande region in New Mexico was centered around a socio-economic model, developed to represent the New Mexico economy, and 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, in the Rio Grande Region, both production and depletions are expected to exhibit the largest increase (59.7 percent and 47.4 percent, respectively). When a surface water constraint is imposed, the value of production is reduced by $18.1 million in 2020 and water depletions are expected to decrease about 18.1 percent by 2020. When a total water constraint is imposed, the value of production is decreased $4.1 million below that expected when using only a surface water constraint, and water depletions are reduced about 8.4 percent.
The Upper Rio Grande Region is expected to follow the general trend of the total Rio Grande region but at a lower growth rate. The expected increase in total value of production from 1970 to 2020 is 53.8 percent, employment 53 percent, and water depletions about 20 percent.
When a surface-water constraint is imposed, production is expected to be reduced $0.6 million in 2020, employment by 212 employees, and water depletions by 13,569 acre-feet. When an additional constraint is imposed on ground water in the URGR production would be decreased $0.6 million in 2020, employment by an additional 212 employees, and water depletions by 13,497 acre-feet.
Project No. A-045-NMEX