New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting — Abstracts

NM Water data initiative project: Groundwater level monitoring network planning

Stacy Timmons1, Rob Pine1, Jake Ross1, Geoff Rawling1, Rachel Hobbs1 and Talon Newton1

1New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, 801 Leroy Place, New Mexico Tech, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM, 87801,

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Following the 2019 NM Water Data Act statute, multiple agencies in the state are working to integrate water data following a federated data model. The ultimate goal of this effort, commonly called the NM Water Data Initiative, is to make finding water data simple. In this federated model approach, data providers, which include but are not limited to state agencies, provide data through a standardized application programming interface (API).

While working to improve access to data on a statewide level and address data gaps, there are several use-case focused projects to help drive data use and integration. This year, with funding from Thornburg Foundation, we evaluated groundwater level monitoring data in the state. After interviews with state experts on regions of highest priority, 10 regions were selected for a detailed analysis. For each region, we explored water uses, geology and availability of regular, dedicated groundwater level measurements, with data accessible online. Acknowledging that some datasets are not digitally available or online, the majority of the data that were used were compiled from the USGS and NM Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, through the Healy Collaborative Groundwater Monitoring Network.

With approximately 270,000 groundwater wells on record with the NM Office of the State Engineer, we found only about 1400 wells statewide with some sort of dedicated groundwater level monitoring, and accessible (online) data. This project provides recommendations for regions where groundwater monitoring could be improved with dedicated monitoring wells.

Using accessible water level data, we also have developed an open-source web-based map application to help communicate the spatial coverage of groundwater monitoring and groundwater level trends. The goal of this web application is to build awareness of regions of NM with groundwater data gaps. The hope is to address these gaps by developing funding sources to drill dedicated monitoring wells and/or develop monitoring projects.

More information about the New Mexico Water Data Initiative can be found at, which is a collaborative effort convened by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, working with numerous state agencies on water quality, quantity and uses toward improved water management and planning.

pp. 103

2023 New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 21, 2023, Macey Center, Socorro, NM
Online ISSN: 2834-5800