Pueblo of Jemez – Various Projects

Client: Pueblo of Jemez
Project: Various Projects

The Jemez Pueblo is located in north-central New Mexico, roughly 50 miles northwest of Albuquerque along the Jemez River which is tributary to the Rio Grande. NRCE has worked with the Jemez Pueblo since 1994 to complete a variety of work related to the Pueblo’s water supply, wastewater treatment, and water planning needs, as well as work in other fields. The Pueblo’s water supply was investigated by inventorying the current and potential water sources servicing the Pueblo, and analyzing the water quality of the identified sources. Treatment options to improve water quality were evaluated and estimates of Pueblo water demands were undertaken to quantify the need to develop new sources of water supply. In addition, NRCE conducted a feasibility study of an off-stream water supply reservoir to serve the Pueblo’s irrigation, domestic, and economic development water needs. The Owl Springs Reservoir feasibility study evaluated the physical conditions of the proposed dam site, the design of the dam embankment (see schematic below), the supply and distribution systems associated with the reservoir, the water supply potential of the reservoir, the design of flood spillway and reservoir evacuation facilities, potential environmental and cultural impacts, as well as the capital and operational costs of the reservoir facility.

The Pueblo’s need for an expanded wastewater treatment facility was quantified and investigated. Present and future wastewater flows were estimated, and the capacity constraints of the current wastewater treatment system were evaluated. The effects of simple solutions to the capacity problems were identified and estimates of expanded life of the current treatment system were developed. Conventional (mechanized) wastewater treatment options were also investigated, and capital and operational costs of these options were estimated for the Pueblo. Assistance in water planning was provided through the completion of a Water Master Plan for the Pueblo, which served as a tool for the Pueblo’s water resources development planning. The plan was a comprehensive analysis of the Pueblo’s water supplies and demands over a 50-year planning period. As part of the plan, NRCE completed a water resources assessment, a water demand assessment, an evaluation of the present and future community water system infrastructure, and a cost analysis for future water system development. System components such as sources, water treatment, storage, and distribution (capacity and pressure) were analyzed through hydraulic modeling in WaterCAD. Future improvements such as well development, water treatment expansion, pipeline expansion and development, and construction of storage were categorized as near-term or long-term, ranked in priority, and assigned costs and potential funding sources. A drought contingency plan was also developed for the Pueblo as part of the plan.

Since 1994, NRCE has also provided additional services to the Jemez Pueblo in other fields, including:

  • Water rights analysis and negotiation support as part of the Abousleman case involving the adjudication of water rights in the Jemez River Basin;
  • An evaluation of the current irrigation system and completion of an irrigation system rehabilitation plan;
  • Hydrologic analyses of the Pueblo water supply, including an undepleted flow analysis of the Jemez River and various RiverWare modeling scenarios investigating natural, historical, present, and possible future water uses and allocations in the Jemez River Basin.
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