Water Resources Professional Project Reports


Meredith Porter

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



This study analyzed the nitrate-nitrogen readings from three decades of data provided by the New Mexico Environment Department, New Mexico Tech, Bernalillo County, and the USGS. The purpose of this study was to assess the nitrate-nitrogen levels in the groundwater of the Albuquerque and Española Basin. First the data were compared to a USGS model on nitrate-nitrogen in aquifers of the southwest United States (which include the Albuquerque and Española Basins). Next the data were run through an interpolation model where nitrate-nitrogen levels were calculated for areas of the Albuquerque and Española Basin that had not previously been sampled. Finally, population density for the two basins was incorporated into a map with the NMPWND and with dairy locations in order to locate points of high health concern. The different ways in which the data were analyzed showed that there were areas of both the Albuquerque and Española Basins where the nitrate-nitrogen in the groundwater is very high. The final task found ten areas that should be of high priority for testing in the future, as well as for the need to educate the water users living in those areas.

Language (ISO)



Nitrates--Environmental aspects--New Mexico--Espanola Basin., Groundwater--Pollution--New Mexico--Albuquerque Basin., Groundwater--Pollution--New Mexico--Espanola Basin., Water--Nitrogen content--New Mexico--Albuquerque Basin., Water--Nitrogen content--New Mexico--Espanola Basin. Nitrates--Environmental aspects--New Mexico--Albuquerque Basin.


A Professional Project Proposal submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Water Resources, Water Resources Program, University of New Mexico.