NMRWA AGUA de Nuevo Mexico Magazine, Fall 2017

6 Agua de Nuevo México Collaborative Groundwater Monitoring Network by Stacy Timmons, Hydrogeologist and Aquifer Mapping Program Manager W e all know that New Mexico is a desert state with limited groundwater resources. Water systems around the state are faced with this reality on a regular basis. To use a simple analogy, in most areas of New Mexico, our surface water is like our checking account, while our groundwater is our savings account. We hope to have groundwater in times of need, when surface water flows are reduced or unavailable. We have many ways to measure our surface water and track that balance, but when it comes to groundwater, providing an accurate account balance is far more difficult. One way we can check in on our groundwater savings account balance is to measure and track static groundwater levels in wells. As many readers know, rural water systems are especially challenged to address groundwater quantity limitations, Map shows approximate locations of the current locations of wells participating in the Collabo- rative Groundwater Monitoring network in red triangles. Many of these locations have continu- ous groundwater monitoring using an acoustic device (Wellntel), and others have a continuous pressure transducer. This continuous monitoring provides groundwater level measurements at least twice per day. The small blue points are approximate well locations monitored once every 5 years, rotating around the state. Only a small subset of these blue points are measured yearly. WITH THE NEW MEXICO BUREAU OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES