Complete Plan Documents Now Online
Feb. 6, 2017 – The Water Authority’s new water resources management plan, dubbed WATER 2120, has been posted to the utility's website. Here are links to Volume 1 (technical information) and Volume II (public process information).
An interactive water model in Excel, illustrative of the WATER 2120 planning process, is available for download from a Dropbox folder by clicking here. (IMPORTANT NOTES FOR MODEL USERS: You must enable Macros in order to operate the model; users assume all responsibility for doing so. This is a large file [20 MB] ; a download is required and you will need to have the Microsoft Excel program [2013 or later] installed on your computer in order to use it. The model was developed for use on PCs; it is not compatible with Macs).
WATER 2120 and its attendant policies focus on optimizing the use of existing water supplies rather than seeking new sources. A PowerPoint presentation about the plan can be found here, and you can click here to download a one-page summary sheet.
The plan, which evolved from Water Resources Management Strategies developed over the past two decades, was unanimously approved by the Water Authority Board in September of 2016. It was supported by numerous organizations, including the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the Army Corps of Engineers.
- The plan builds on the community’s past success in conservation and its addition of surface water to the drinking water supply, which have allowed substantial recovery of the groundwater aquifer beneath Albuquerque.
- By making prudent future investments in conservation, aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), storm-water capture, wastewater reuse, and other alternatives, the community can extend existing supplies for several decades under a variety of climate and growth scenarios.
- The plan provides for a reliable water supply while wisely managing and preserving our aquifer, and will not require new or additional rate increases for implementation.
- Conservation. Over the past 20+ years, overall demand for water has dropped significantly even while population has increased. Building on this success is a foundational element of the Water 2120 plan.
- A diverse supply portfolio. The Water Authority currently enjoys six sources of supply: surface water, groundwater, aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), non-potable surface water for turf irrigation, and two reuse projects for turf irrigation. The plan calls for continued use of these existing alternatives (with expansion of ASR and reuse) plus the addition of storm-water capture to the portfolio.
- New storage capacity. Expanded use of reuse water and the addition of storm-water resources requires the addition of new storage capacity (e.g., reservoirs and underground storage).
- Groundwater management and preservation. Groundwater levels in the aquifer are currently rising due to conservation and our use of surface water. WATER 2120 establishes a management level and policies for maintaining the aquifer as a long-term resource for the community.
- Environmental and cultural responsibility. The plan calls for no additional acquisition of pre-1907 water rights, leaving more water available for agriculture. It also emphasizes the management and preservation of the environmentally sensitive watersheds where our surface-water supply originates.