The Albuquerque-Santa Fe region is rapidly growing. The Santa Fe Group aquifer in the Middle Rio Grande Basin (MRGB) is the main source of municipal water for the greater Albuquerque metropolitan area and is more limited than previously thought (Thorn et al., 1993). The MRGB, as defined hydrologically and used here, is the area within the Rio Grande Valley extending from Cochiti Dam downstream to the community of San Acacia (Figure 1). Because approximately 600,000 people (40 percent of the population of New Mexico) live in the study area (Bartolino, 1999), water shortfalls could have serious consequences for the state. Future growth and land management in the region depends on accurate assessment and protection of the region’s groundwater resources. An important issue in understanding the ground water resources is a better understanding of the hydrogeology of the Santa Fe Group, the sedimentary deposits that fill the Rio Grande rift and contain the principal groundwater aquifers.
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