Water Resources Evaluation of the Southern High Plains of New Mexico
An interdisciplinary approach to the solution of the water resource problems of the Southern High Plains in New Mexico was made possible by the integration of hydrology and geology 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 linear programming model was developed to represent the Southern High Plains economy. Inputs into the 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, decreasing pumpage lb percent after 1966; (3) growth, increasing pumpage 10 percent after 1966.
Without a water constraint, both production and depletions are expected to exhibit the largest increase (54.5 percent and 66.9 percent, respectively). When a 10 percent decrease in pumpage constraint is imposed in the year 2020, the value of production is reduced by $19.02 million; employment by 2931 employees; and water depletions decreased about 62 percent. When a 10 percent increase in pumpage constraint is imposed, the value of production is decreased $47.09 million below that expected when compared to a 10 percent decrease in pumpage, and water depletions are reduced only slightly (31,900 acre-feet).
Project No. B-037-NMEX