Effect of Santa Rosa Lake on Ground Water Flow to the Pecos River, New Mexico

by Dennis W. Risser, US Geological Survey, Albuquerque, NM, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Development and Management Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage Systems


In 1980, Santa Rosa Dam began impounding water on the Pecos River about 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, to provide flood control and storage for irrigation. Santa Rosa Lake has caused changes in the ground water flow system, which may cause changes in the streamflow of the Pecos River that cannot be detected at the present streamflow-gaging stations, which are used to administer water rights along the Pecos River. The effect of the lake on streamflow was investigated using a three-dimensional ground water flow model. These simulations indicated that the net change in ground water flow to the river would be almost zero if the lake were maintained at its flood control pool for 90 days.

Subject Headings: Groundwater flow | Water flow | Rivers and streams | River flow | Lakes | Water resources | Flow simulation | New Mexico | United States

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