An Analytical Interdisciplinary Evaluation of the Utilization of the Water Resources of the Rio Grande in New Mexico: Socorro Region
An Interdisciplinary approach to the solution of the water resource problems of the Socorro Region in New Mexico was centered around a socio-economic model, 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, with a surface-water constraint; 3) growth, with both surface- and ground-water constraints.
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 Socorro 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 46.8 percent, employment about 21 percent.
When a surface-water constraint is imposed, production is expected to be reduced $0.6 million in 2020, employment by 49 employees, and water depletions by 8,918 acre-feet. When an additional constraint is imposed on ground water in the Socorro Region, production would be decreased $1.0 million in 2020, employment by an additional 107 employees, and water depletions by 533 acre-feet.
Project No. A-045-NMEX