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The Pecos River in New Mexico New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission Presented to the Pecos River Water Quality Coalition October 21, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "The Pecos River in New Mexico New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission Presented to the Pecos River Water Quality Coalition October 21, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Pecos River in New Mexico New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission Presented to the Pecos River Water Quality Coalition October 21, 2011

2 The 1948 Pecos Compact Signed by TX and NM after years of contentious negotiations Principal tenet of Compact is that NM “shall not deplete by man’s activities the flow of the Pecos River at the NM-TX state line” below the “1947 condition”

3 The Compact & Decree Require Deliveries to Texas calculated on a calendar-year basis Use of the Supreme Court River Master’s Manual & decisions Rapid “repayment” of any net shortfalls

4 Pecos Compact Compliance NM unable to meet Compact delivery requirements –Large factor is declining base flow gains to river –Caused by increased groundwater pumping in Roswell Basin NM under-delivers to TX roughly 10,000 AF/yr mid-1950s to mid-1980s

5 Base Inflow to the Pecos River Acme to Artesia

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7 Pecos Compact Compliance TX sues NM in Supreme Court in 1974 NM loses, pays $14 million fine and Must now abide by Court’s 1988 Amended Decree –Federal River Master oversees all deliveries to TX –No net delivery shortfall allowed –Rapid repayment required if shortfall occurs –Non-compliance likely result: loss of state control over its water resources

8 Pecos Compact Compliance Post-Decree NM purchases and leases over $30 million in water rights during 1990s to meet Compact/Decree terms NM stays in compliance, but barely Drought of early 2000s looked to push NM into shortfall Dire conditions brought water interests together to start developing what would become the Pecos Settlement

9 Settlement Chronology July 2001 – Anticipating a net delivery shortfall to Texas, ISC sets up an ad-hoc committee to develop: –a short-term plan to avoid a net shortfall in 2001 –a long-term plan to avoid future priority calls

10 Settlement Chronology – Cont’d March 25, 2003: Pecos Settlement Signed by all Parties –State Engineer –Interstate Stream Commission –The United States (DOI –BOR) –Carlsbad Irrigation District –Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District

11 Settlement Objectives Permanent compliance with the Pecos River Compact and Decree Increased and stable water supply for Carlsbad Irrigation District Reduced likelihood of a priority call on the Pecos River Bring basin back into hydrologic balance

12 Key Hydrologic Elements Retire up to 6,000 acres of irrigation rights within CID and up to 11,000 acres within PVACD Augmentation pumping up to 35,000 AFY, but not more than 100,000 AF during each 5-year accounting period Use CID water allocated to ISC lands for reallocation to CID farmers and for state line delivery

13 ISC Pecos Settlement Land/Water Acquisitions: December 2009 Target = 12,000

14 Augmentation Pumping Capacity

15 Pecos Settlement Implemented On June 11, 2009 Pecos Settlement Parties Jointly Declared “that the Conditions Precedent required for implementation of the Settlement Agreement have been sufficiently satisfied such that the Settlement Parties agree that the settlement terms should now be implemented”

16 Augmentation Well Fields

17 Lake Arthur Well Field 5 wells Original capacity 7,900 gpm Design capacity 10,000 gpm

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19 Well Name Well Depth (ft bgl) Depth to Water (ft bgl) HPTransmissivity (ft 2 /day) Design Capacity (gpm) Total Dissolved Solids (mg/L) B ,5202,5001,772 C ,8002,5002,418 E1, ,2001,0002,203 G ,100 to 16,5003,0002,300 H ,5002,5001,948 I ,0002,5001,898 J ,0001,5001,900 K ,6001,3001,287 L ,1002,2002,000 Q ,0002,960 7-Rivers Well Summary

20 Settlement Benefits to the ISC On average, an additional 9,400 AFY is delivered to the state line A mechanism is in place to deliver additional water to the state line within a short period of time if there is ever a net shortfall Potential to build a delivery credit of 115,000 AF

21 Practical Aspects of Settlement Implementation Augmentation pumping is required according to Settlement schedule Seven Rivers pumping cost ≈ $60/acre- foot Estimated “average” annual augmentation pumping about 12,000 acre-feet/year “Average” annual ISC pumping cost roughly $700,000/year –Electricity + O&M

22 Where Are We This Year? Current Augmentation Pumping Rates: –Seven Rivers – 17,400 gpm or 39 cfs ISC has pumped over 11,500 acre-feet of water since March 1 st to augment CID’s supply Due to large net credit no pumping for Texas this year

23 Where Are We This Year? 2011 is the driest year on record in the Pecos Basin Augmentation pumping cannot replace lack of natural river flow Likely to end year with annual Pecos Compact deficit NM will maintain net credit – current net credit is 99,600 acre-feet

24 Endangered Species Act Issues

25 Many ESA and other environmental issues on Pecos River Primary water management threat is the Federally threatened Pecos bluntnose shiner Principal challenge is meeting mandated minimum flows, especially in consecutive drought years

26 Pecos Bluntnose Shiner Management Challenges Avoiding river intermittency in critical habitat reaches –Ensure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion flow requirements are met (35 cfs Below Taiban gage, wet at Acme gage) Violating BO could have significant negative ramifications

27 ISC’s Role in PBNS Management Vaughan Conservation Pipeline near Fort Sumner –Supply the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation roughly 1,500 AF/Y as needed (up to ≈ 13 cfs) –Provides water to river at top of critical habitat reach –Important tool for compliance

28 PBNS Status in 2011 Due to extraordinary drought –River intermittency has occurred over portion of critical habitat –Despite enormous effort by Reclamation to acquire additional water options extremely limited –Agencies working collaboratively to protect as much habitat as possible prepare for second consecutive dry year

29 Vaughan Pipeline Outfall

30 Vaughan Pipeline Discharge

31 Pecos Salinity Efforts New Mexico has long supported efforts to reduce Pecos salinity: –Malaga Bend well pumping in River Master Manual (currently Southwest Salt) –Ongoing support for WRDA annual letters to delegation asking for support Memorials passed by State Legislature –Ongoing water quality monitoring from augmentation well fields WRDA support on Rio Grande –Provided initial seed money ($250K) to initiate the § 729 activities by the ACOE

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33 Triggers for Well Field Operation (in terms of Project supply available to CID) March 1 50,000 AF (Determined Nov 1) May 1 60,000 AF (Determined Mar 1) June 1 65,000 AF (Determined May 1) July 15 75,000 AF (Determined Jun 1) September 1 90,000 AF (Determined Jul 15 )

34 Where Are We This Year?


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