Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Impact Statement for Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System

Media Contact: Mary Carlson, (505)462-3576

For Release: January 12, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation released its Final Environmental Impact Statement today for the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System. The FEIS identifies a preferred alternative based on analysis of potential environmental impacts of five alternatives for planning, designing and constructing the regional water system in the Pojoaque Basin of north-central New Mexico.

The Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System is part of the Aamodt Settlement Agreement and was authorized by Congress under the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-291). As envisioned, it will divert water from the Rio Grande and include water treatment facilities on the Pueblo de San Ildefonso along with storage tanks, transmission and distribution pipelines, and well fields to supply up to 4,000 acre-feet of water annually. If constructed, the system will provide reliable, safe drinking water to the four Pueblos and other Santa Fe County customers in the Pojoaque Basin.

Under Alternative E, the preferred alternative, the water system would collect flows from the Rio Grande supplemented with San Juan-Chama Project water supplies. Emergency use wells would allow water to be withdrawn during emergencies lasting longer than two days that cannot be supplied by short-term storage tanks. The preferred alternative would also include four horizontal radial well collectors to divert water from saturated soils alongside and just below the east bank of the Rio Grande, and a water treatment plant located on the west side of County Road 101D. It also includes the addition of seven new short-term storage tanks to the 15 existing storage tanks, a water transmission and distribution system, including approximately 151 miles of pipelines, one surge tank, six pumping plants, and pressure-reducing and flow-control valves. It would also include approximately seven miles of new overhead and buried electrical distribution lines, and solar-ready facilities. The Department of the Interior will complete a Record of Decision identifying the actions that will be implemented no sooner than 30 days after publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Notice of Availability in the Federal Register on February 19, 2018.

Reclamation prepared the FEIS in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Indian Health Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the four Settlement Pueblos (San Ildefonso, Pojoaque, Nambé, and Tesuque), New Mexico Department of Transportation, Santa Fe County, and the City of Santa Fe. The FEIS analyzes key resource topics, such as surface and ground water, vegetation, wetlands and floodplains, cultural resources, socioeconomic resources, and air quality. It lists potential mitigation measures to lessen or eliminate possible negative project-related effects on those resources

The FEIS is available on the following websites: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/eis.html or www.pojoaquebasineis.com.

It is also available at:

  • Natural Resources Library, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Main Interior Building, Washington, DC 20240-0001.
  • Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Region, Public Affairs Office, 125 South State Street, Room 8100, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138.
  • Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Area Office, 555 Broadway NE, Suite 100, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102.
  • Santa Fe County Pojoaque Satellite Office, 5 West Gutierrez, Suite 9, Pojoaque, New Mexico 87506 (in the Pojoaque Pueblo Plaza).
  • Santa Fe Public Library, 145 Washington Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501. New Mexico State Library, 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507.
  • Santa Fe Community College Library, 6401 Richards Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508.

Compact disc copies or additional information may be obtained by contacting Ms. Sarah Branum, Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Area Office, 555 Broadway NE, Suite 100, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102; pojoaquebasineis@usbr.gov, or by phone at (505) 462-3591.

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.