Water-Table Elevation Maps for 2008 and 2016 and Water-Table Elevation Changes in the Aquifer System Underlying Eastern Albuquerque, New Mexico

Open-File Report 2020-1036
Prepared in cooperation with Air Force Civil Engineer Center
By:  and 



The addition of surface water from the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Project to the Albuquerque water supply and the reduction in per capita water use has led to decreased groundwater withdrawals. This decrease in withdrawals has resulted in rising groundwater levels since 2008 in portions of the aquifer underlying Albuquerque. The wells used to assess the Kirtland Air Force Base Bulk Fuels Facility (KAFB BFF) ethylene dibromide (EDB) groundwater contamination were installed with well screens that crossed the water table in order to monitor and sample groundwater within the EDB plume. While replacement wells have been installed, an understanding of the water-table response to decreases in regional groundwater withdrawals is required to evaluate the monitoring well network. Water-table elevation maps of the aquifer underlying the Albuquerque metropolitan area east of the Rio Grande for 2008 and 2016 and a map of the change in elevations in this 8-year period provide an improved understanding of the water-table elevations and the changes that are occurring.

The water-table elevation contours for both 2008 and 2016 show that groundwater generally flows from the Rio Grande and from the mountain-front recharge in the southeast toward the center of the study area, a major groundwater pumping center. The water-table elevation increased in most of the study area from 2008 to 2016. The area of greatest increase in the water-table elevation covers most of the northeastern part of the study area, where there has historically been pumping-related drawdown and subsequent groundwater-level rises in the production zone of the Santa Fe Group aquifer system.

Suggested Citation

Flickinger, A.K., and Mitchell, A.C., 2020, Water-table elevation maps for 2008 and 2016 and water-table elevation changes in the aquifer system underlying eastern Albuquerque, New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1036, 9 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201036.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Santa Fe Group Aquifer System
  • Study Methods
  • Estimated 2008 and 2016 Water-Table Elevation Contours and Change
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water-table elevation maps for 2008 and 2016 and water-table elevation changes in the aquifer system underlying eastern Albuquerque, New Mexico
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2020-1036
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201036
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New Mexico Water Science Center
Description Report: vi, 9 p.; Data Release; Interactive Map
Country United States
State New Mexico
City Albuquerque
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details