Climate Change and Water

Water and Climate Change

To increase the sustainability of our water supply, the City of Santa Fe (City) together with partner Santa Fe County (County) have developed new surface water sources. However, like many surface waters in the arid Southwest, the existing (Santa Fe River) and new sources (Rio Grande and the tributaries to the San Juan River) are vulnerable to climate-change-induced impacts. The City of Santa Fe City Council passed Resolution 2011-17 directing staff to update the City's Long Range Water Supply Plan to incorporate projected climate change impacts.

Through the Santa Fe Basin Climate Change Study (Study) program the City and County are working with Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) experts to better understand the future effects on and associated risks from climate change on the Santa Fe watershed as a whole and the surface water use in three sub-basins: the Santa Fe River watershed, the upper Rio Grande watershed (upstream from Otowi stream gage), and the San Juan River watershed, which is the source of water for the San Juan-Chama Project water.

Santa Fe Basin Study WaterSMART program grant proposal:

Download Grant Proposal

Santa Fe Basin Study Memorandum of Agreement and Plan of Study:

Download Study Memorandum

Preliminary Assessment of Vulnerabilities and Adaptation Alternatives.

The first part of the Santa Fe Basin Climate Change Study convened a workshop on March 6, 2012 and a resulting assessment of vulnerabilities and adaptation alternatives, which investigates the impacts climate change may have on  some of the key natural and human systems in our watershed. The assessment also explores the adaptive actions that we, as stewards of this watershed, may consider implementing and details many of the ongoing activities that will increase the resiliency of our community.

Read the assessment:

Climate Change and the Santa Fe Basin: A Preliminary Assessment of Vulnerabilities and Adaptation Alternatives

The material from the presentations at the interactive climate-change workshop are available below.


Community Collaborators and Supporters

This project is supported by the following organizations and community members: Jemez y Sangre Water Planning Region Council, Espanola Basin Regional Issues Forum, Los Alamos County water utility, Santa Fe River Commission. NM Interstate Stream Commission, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Santa Fe Watershed Association, Santa Fe Basin Water Users Association, The Nature Conservancy, Earthworks Institute, La Cienega Valley Association, US Forest Service, La Bajada Acequia Association, and Gallegos Ranch.




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