Hydrogeology and water resources of the Salt Basin, New Mexico and Texas- Open-file Report 618

Beginning in 2019, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR) and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT) initiated research to assess the water resources of the Salt Basin region of southern New Mexico and westernmost Texas. This project was funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and was conducted in coordination with two graduate students at NMT, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission (NMISC), and consultants with the NMISC. The current study was initiated as a result of NMISC considering potential groundwater export from the New Mexico portion of the basin to other regions of New Mexico, particularly during times of reduced surface water availability.

The purpose of this project was to assess the water resources and evaluate the sustainability of pumping 100,000 acre-ft/yr in the Salt Basin region. In particular, the project’s scope addressed the Salt Basin regional water availability by (1) identifying and attempting to address data gaps where there is currently little or no information about the groundwater system; (2) refining estimates of the regional water budget, including groundwater recharge, storage, evapotranspiration, and pumping; (3) building and updating the hydrogeologic framework and numerical hydrologic model; and (4) running specific pumping scenarios in the revised model. These efforts focus attention on the region’s capacity to sustain current groundwater withdrawals in the Salt Basin and implications for future development in New Mexico. Additional techniques applied in this study included electromagnetic geophysical measurements to better characterize the subsurface of the Salt Basin and to evaluate use of these methods in identifying saline or brackish aquifers.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Division Hydrogeology
Subdivision Aquifer Mapping Program
Contact Name Stacy Timmons
Contact Email stacy.timmons@nmt.edu
Contact Phone 575-835-5490
Publication Date 2022-01-01
Known Uses of Data
Data Collection Procedures
Data Collection Timeframe
Data Collection Frequency One-time
Preparation Method
Data Publishing Method website, print
Data Publishing Frequency One-time
Data Quality Procedures
Version 1.0
Geographic Location Chaves County, Otero County, Hudspeth County, Culberson County
Coordinate Reference System
Data Source NMBGMR
Source URL