The Santa Fe City Well Field (CWF) is comprised of seven active wells that pump water from the aquifer beneath Santa Fe, located mostly along the Santa Fe River and within the City limits. Together, City wells provide approximately 6 percent of our drinking water supply. St. Mike's well, also in the City limits, is included with the CWF in water production totals, although it is permitted differently. While these wells may seem to be a small percentage of our water supply, keep reading to learn why this is part of our long-term supply management strategy.



From 1950 to 1957, New Mexico had seven consecutive years of drought—those years saw less than 12 inches of rainfall annually. The City well field was drilled during this period to provide an additional water source and increase supply. For approximately the next 20 years, the CWF and the Santa Fe River were our only water sources. Once the Buckman well field was added to our supply portfolio in the 1970s, Santa Fe relied heavily on groundwater, leading to excessive pumping of both the CWF and Buckman well field. Water conservation efforts didn't begin until 1995, meaning demand and water waste were also at all-time highs.


Long-Term Aquifer Management

In 2011, the Buckman Direct Diversion began operating, channeling surface water to Santa Fe from the Colorado River and greatly expanding our imported surface water supply. This allowed us to strategically prioritize the use of surface water when available to preserve groundwater for when it's not. Switching to surface water as our primary source of supply, coupled with a steady reduction in demand, has allowed all our groundwater aquifers to recover from overuse so that they can sustain us in the event of drought or other supply interruptions.

We continue to monitor both the quantity and quality of our groundwater carefully. Monitoring has improved with the creation of a Wellhead Protection Plan and a Source Water Protection Plan. Both plans include an evaluation of our water supply's vulnerability to contaminants and include hydrologic and hydrogeologic assessments of the municipal watershed and the CWF.


Water Level Monitoring Reports

As part of the permit requirement for the Northwest Well (RG-68302, RG-81092, and RG-1113 thru RG-1118 Combined), the City of Santa Fe is required to conduct groundwater level monitoring in the vicinity of the Northwest Well and City Well field. The City's Northwest Well and City Well field groundwater monitoring reports summarize the effects of the pumping of the Northwest Well and City Well field on groundwater levels in the nearby area.

Click here to view the Northwest Well Water Level Monitoring Program.