Chemical quality of ground water in the northern part of the Albuquerque-Belen Basin, Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties, New Mexico
William L. Hiss, Frank W. Trainer, Bruce A. Black, and Douglas R. Posson
Aquifers within Cenozoic strata in the Rio Grande rift constitute some of the most important ground-water reservoirs in New Mexico. The Albuquerque-Belen basin, the largest of the south-trending series of grabens that forms the Rio Grande rift, is about 30 mi (48 km) wide and 90 mi (145 km) long (Figs. 1 and 2). Albuquerque, with a population of about 285,000, pumps an average of 68.5 million gallons of water per day (260,000 m3/day) from wells tapping Cenozoic aquifers (Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 1975; Wombold and Adcock, 1975; and Dan Reddy, Water Department, city of Albuquerque, personal commun., July 8, 1975). This stress on the aquifer system is increased by pumping for the estimated additional 100,000 people living in nearby communities and suburban developments—perhaps as much as 23.5 million gallons of water per day (89,000 m3/day).
Extrapolation of historic trends in population growth and water use (Reeder, Bjorklund, and Dinwiddie, 1967, p. 9-10) suggests that considerable additional development of the aquifers within the Cenozoic fluvial deposits filling the rift will be required in the future. A knowledge of the quantity and quality of ground water stored in the basin will therefore be an important factor in planning for both orderly economic growth and expansion of the population.
The stratigraphic nomenclature used by the New Mexico Geological Society, followed in this report, does not necessarily conform to that used by the U.S. Geological Survey.
- Hiss, William L.; Trainer, Frank W.; Black, Bruce A.; Posson, Douglas R., 1975, Chemical quality of ground water in the northern part of the Albuquerque-Belen Basin, Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties, New Mexico, in: Las Cruces Country, Seager, William R.; Clemons, Russell E.; Callender, Jonathan F., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 26th Field Conference, pp. 219-235.