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Long-term Lease of Groundwater Rights,
Pecos River near Ft. Sumner
Final Environmental Assessment

In July 2006, Reclamation issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Carlsbad Project Water Operations and Water Supply Conservation Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (US Bureau of Reclamation 2006a). The ROD mandated changes in water operations within the Pecos River in order to conserve the federally threatened Pecos bluntnose shiner (Notropis simus pecosensis) (shiner) and its designated critical habitat, while conserving the Carlsbad Project water supply. Specifically, it established a target flow of 35 cubic feet per second (CFS) as measured at the Taiban gage (Pecos River below Taiban Creek Fort Sumner, NM, USGS gage number 08385522), established a 500 acre-foot FCP at Lake Sumner, and identified a range of actions to acquire water to meet the contract requirements of the Carlsbad Project. 

As part of the consultation process under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a Biological Opinion (2006 – 2016) (BiOp) on the selected alternative from the EIS (US Fish and Wildlife Service 2006). One of the provisions of the BiOp was for Reclamation to keep the river continuous. Reclamation is committed to work within their discretionary authority to meet these requirements.   

Because changes in Carlsbad Project operations to benefit the shiner could result in reduction to the available Carlsbad Project water supply, a variety of options for acquiring water to keep the project whole were considered in the EIS. Likewise, a variety of additional upstream water sources to directly benefit the shiner were identified, including the use of a fish conservation pool in Sumner Lake and/or Santa Rosa Reservoir.

The purpose of the Proposed Action: Reclamation is proposing to enter into a 25 year water lease agreement with the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission for diverting groundwater from an area near Fort Sumner, New Mexico to be pumped into the Pecos River and to formalize the establishment of a 1,000 acre-foot fish conservation pool in Sumner Lake and Santa Rosa Reservoir. Water from these actions would supplement existing flows to meet Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance as defined in the 10-year Biological Opinion issued on May 18, 2006 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Long-term Lease of Groundwater Rights
Pecos River near Ft. Sumner, NM Final EA


 Cover and Abstract
182KB
 Table of Contents, List of Figures, Acronyms and Abbreviations
124 KB
 Chapter 1 - Purpose and Need for Action
347 KB
 Chapter 2 - Alternatives
278 KB
 Chapter 3 - Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences
 247 KB
 Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences
 329 KB
 Chapter 5,6,7,8 - Environmental Commitments, Consultation & Coordination, List of Preparers, References
 155 KB
 Appendix A - Water Resources Modeling Methods and Definitions
 132 KB
 Entire Document
883KB
  
 
 Finding of No Significant Impact
 608 KB

 

 

Last updated: July 27, 2007