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Drought Emergency Water Well for Carlsbad, New Mexico
Final Environmental Assessment and
Finding of No Significant Impact

Record drought in the southwestern United States continues to threaten municipal water supplies with severe shortages. The city of Carlsbad, New Mexico, is dependent on a groundwater well field for its municipal water. Approximately 98 percent of Carlsbad’s water is supplied by groundwater pumped from 9 wells located about 7 miles southwest of the city in an area called Sheep’s Draw. These wells range in depth from 590 to 1,000 feet and pull water from the Capitan Aquifer. Long, prolonged periods of drought such as the current event have a negative impact on groundwater levels, often requiring the need for deeper and more expensive wells. The drought is forecast to continue and may be very long, based on the historic record. Support for drought emergency well drilling was authorized by the U.S. Congress in Title 1 of the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991.

The purpose of the proposed action is to provide a supplemental source of municipal water for the city of Carlsbad to fully utilize their existing water rights by providing additional capacity and operational flexibility within the Sheep’s Draw well field during a drought emergency. The project is needed due to the severe drought now gripping the southwest U. S. and the potential for the drought to continue for the indeterminate future. In addition, the proposed well would be outfitted with a secondary power source (e.g., natural gas or diesel powered generator) that can be used during a power outage to maintain the city’s municipal water supply during an emergency.

Drought Emergency Water Well for Carlsbad, New Mexico
Final Environmental Assessment and FONSI
 Finding of No Significant Impact
 Table of Contents
 Chapter 1 - Purpose and Need for Action
 Chapter 2 - Description of Proposed Action Alternatives
 Chapter 3 - Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences
 Chapter 4, 5, & 6 - Persons and Agencies Consulted, List of Preparers, References
 Appendix A - Threatened and Endangered Species List
 Appendix B - Public and Agency Correspondence
 Entire Document



Last updated: June 13, 2008