Water Resources Professional Project Reports


Chance Coats

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Commercial space flight from New Mexico is soon to become a reality. With Spaceport America soon to be in full operation, economic growth is expected to increase in the Jornada del Muerto Basin. A potential site for future development is located five miles north of the Spaceport, in the community of Cutter, New Mexico. This project discusses the groundwater resources available beneath the community of Cutter. Data from a pumping test performed on well LRG-10140 along with groundwater level measurements from the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (NMOSE) and water level data provided by John Shomaker and Associates, Inc. (JSAI) was used to evaluate the system. The hydrogeology of the system beneath Cutter is best defined as a fractured tub. It is bound on the east side by the Jornada Draw Fault and the south by series of Tertiary dikes. Recharge estimated at 80 ac-ft/yr (acre feet per year) comes from the northwest and flows to the southeast. The fractured sandstone units of the Mesaverde Formation provide for a low storage coefficient of 0.005 using the specific yield approach for calculating storage. The Big Sky Village Subdivsion makes up the majority of developed land within the study area. Current demand in this area is estimated at 40.9 ac-ft/yr. The findings of this study estimate the system beneath Cutter can provide for a population of 200 people at a demand of 200 gallons per capita per day. At this population, the demand overtakes the recharge into the system and the aquifer is not sustainable. Drawdown at this demand will provide a groundwater supply for the community for 40 years into the future.

Language (ISO)



Spaceport America, Jornada del Muerto Basin, Cutter, New Mexico, groundwater, fractured tub


A professional project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Water Resources, Water Resources Program, University of New Mexico.