Groundwater surface map of Union County and the Clayton Underground Water Basin, northeast New Mexico - Open-file Report 570

Union County, the northeasternmost county in New Mexico, is rural with an economy based on ranching and agriculture. Surface water resources are limited, thus development of groundwater for stock watering and irrigation is important and extensive. Groundwater studies by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR) in Union County have been conducted in concert with the Northeast Soil and Water Conservation District (NESWCD) and were driven by concerns over recent large groundwater appropriations, the reliability of the groundwater supply for the town of Clayton, and declining water levels that have been observed in many wells over the past few years.

The New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (NMOSE) declared the Clayton Underground Water Basin in 2005, ending unrestricted appropriation and development of groundwater in northeast New Mexico. Recently, the NMOSE has started development of a groundwater flow model of the Clayton Basin for administration of water rights. Important input data for a groundwater flow model include accurate delineation of the groundwater surface and an understanding of water level changes over time.

Data and Resources


Field Value
Division Hydrogeology
Subdivision Aquifer Mapping Program
Contact Name Geoffrey Rawling
Contact Email [email protected]
Contact Phone 575-835-5490
Publication Date 2015-04-01
Data Collection Frequency One-time
Data Publishing Method website, print
Data Publishing Frequency One-time
Version 1.0
Geographic Location Union County
Data Source NMBGMR
Last Updated 26 November 2023
Published 12 May 2023