Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016NM179B

New Mexico’s Mountain Sources of Water: A Mechanistic Approach to Understand Mountain Recharge and Its Implications for Local and Statewide Water Budgets

Institute: New Mexico
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $30,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $60,007

Principal Investigators: Jesus GomezVelez

Abstract: Recharge is an important component of the water budget, and therefore its quantification at local and regional scales is critical for water resources management under current and future con-ditions. In semiarid environments, such as New Mexico, mountain recharge represents a significant fraction of the total recharge to basin aquifers. With this in mind, a detailed mechanistic under-standing of the "mountains internal plumbing" is critical to adequately quantify recharge fluxes. We propose to implement fully-coupled groundwater-surface water, three-dimensional models for four watersheds along a climatic and geologic gradient in New Mexico. These watersheds are located in areas where a significant effort is currently underway to estimate recharge rates within the context of project focusing on a statewide recharge map for New Mexico. These models will be used to quantify mountain recharge and explore the limits of applicability of a parsimonious approach that can be easily applied at regional scales, and therefore support the efforts to estimate a recharge map for the State.