Water resources of the Capulin topographic basin, Colfax and Union Counties, New Mexico
— Frederick D. Trauger and T. E. Kelly


Large quantities of ground water are present in the Capulin ground-water basin. It is estimated that the Capulin aquifer contains from 740,000 to 900,000 acre-ft of water in transient storage. Probably 222,000 to 270,000 acre-ft can be recovered through pumping at an annual rate of 7,000 acre-ft per year over a period of 32 to 39 years. Appreciable declines in water levels in the basin will result from pumping at this rate.

The highest yields are in the vicinity of the village of Capulin. A major portion of the aquifer, from about five mi west of Capulin east to the Union County line, is relatively untested. Most of the portion of the aquifer overlain by volcanic rocks is also untested.

No aquifer-test data are available which could be used for computing the transmissivity and coefficient of storage, two values that are essential in long-range planning of aquifer development.

The ground water is chemically suitable for most municipal or industrial needs. Total dissolved solids generally do not exceed the recommended standards of the Public Health Service; silica content commonly is less than 35 mg/l.

The average annual discharge of Una de Gato Creek at the gaging station one mi below Throttle Dam was 3.48 ft3/s for the period of record, May 1975 through September 1983.

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Trauger, Frederick D.; Kelly, T. E., 1987, Water resources of the Capulin topographic basin, Colfax and Union Counties, New Mexico, in: Northeastern New Mexico, Lucas, S. G.; Hunt, A. P., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 38th Field Conference, pp. 285-293.

[see guidebook]