Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico
Client: Pueblo of Zuni
Project: Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico
NRCE, under contract with the U.S. Department of Justice, is conducting a hydrographic survey of the Zuni River Basin in New Mexico as part of the water rights adjudication process. New Mexico law requires the adjudication of water rights to legally define each person’s water right and to gain information to maintain a balance between water supply and demand. The hydrographic survey determines the extent and ownership of water rights in a geographic boundary for the adjudication. Approximately 1,930 square miles of the Zuni River Basin is within New Mexico. The hydrographic survey is to identify, quantify, and document water uses and sources within the Zuni River Basin. The water uses include domestic, commercial, municipal, industrial, irrigation, and livestock water.
Information collected includes purpose of water use, location of use, point of diversion, source of water, quantity of water use, priority date, and other technical information. Information for the survey is obtained from digital ortho aerial photography prepared to specified technical specifications, land ownership and water right records, field visits, and interviews with land owners. A site-visit is made to each water use location to verify the water usage and map the location with a GPS system. The information is entered into a spatially-linked GIS database that is used to prepare reports and legal documents concerning the water rights. The information is used to create GIS coverages, databases, maps, update water right records, and reports. Based on the information, a consent order or offers of judgment are prepared for each water user. The water user can accept the offer of judgment or meet with the hydrographic survey team to resolve concerns or litigate the water right.