One of the steps to identify surface water quality issues is to collect water quality data and information through organized, quality-controlled monitoring. The Surface Water Quality Bureau ensures relevant water quality data for all of New Mexico’s surface waters are collected using robust scientific methods in a way that is transparent to water quality agencies and the public. The Monitoring Program serves all surface water quality monitoring needs to the extent possible given available resources, NMED priorities, and strategic goals. The waterbody types currently monitored by the program include streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

Monitoring staff develop and implement field sampling plans to ensure all data needed to determine attainment of New Mexico’ water quality standards are collected during watershed surveys. The Bureau conducts monitoring of watersheds on a 10-year rotational schedule. Monitoring occurs in non-winter months from March through November over two years, resulting in surface water in approximately one-fourth of the State being monitored every two years.  

Monitoring focuses primarily on chemical, physical, and biological conditions in perennial waters, and includes sampling for most pollutants that have numeric or narrative water quality criteria in New Mexico. To meet federal and state requirements and expectations, the Bureau developed and occasionally updates a monitoring strategy (2016, revisions pending 2023).  The strategy provides a detailed description of monitoring objectives and designs, as well as approaches to data quality assurance and management.

Data collected during these water quality surveys are assessed to determine if they meet state water quality standards. These data assessments are then used to develop the State of New Mexico Clean Water Act §303(d)/305(b) Integrated Report and Total Maximum Daily Load planning documents.

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2023-2024 Field Sampling Plans

-Rio Chama Watershed FSP and StoryMap
-Sacramento Mountains FSP and StoryMap
-Santa Fe River MST special project (2023) FSP

Water Quality Survey Reports 

Bear Creek Watershed (2006)Mimbres (2002)
Bluewater Creek (1984)Red River (1999)
Canadian River Tributaries (2006)Rio Chama (2015)
Canadian River and Dry Cimarron (2015-2016)Rio Hondo (2003)
Canadian River Tributaries (2002)Rio Peñasco (2003)
Dry Cimarron (2000)Rio Puerco, Zuni River and Puerco River Watersheds (2014)
Gallinas Watershed Thinning FINAL Monitoring Report (2007-2009)Rio Puerco (2004)
Gallinas Watershed Thinning INTERIM Monitoring Report (2007)Rio Puerco, San Jose, Lower Colorado River Watersheds (2021-2022)
Gila-San Francisco-Mimbres (2019-2020)Sacramento Mountains (2012, 2014)
Gila – San Francisco Watersheds (2014)San Juan River (2017-2018)
Gila – San Francisco River Tribs (2007)San Juan & Animas Watershed (2010)
Jemez River Watershed (2005)San Juan River Watershed (2002)
Jemez River Watershed (2013-2014)Tularosa Closed Basin Watershed (2004)
Jemez River Watershed (2021-2022)Upper Chama (2007)
Lower Chama (1999)Upper Pecos (2019-2020)
Lower Pecos (2003)Upper Pecos (2010)
Lower Pecos (2013)Upper Pecos Pt. 1 (2001)
Lower Pecos (2021-2022)Upper Pecos Pt. 2 (2001)
Lower Rio Grande (2019-2020)Upper Pecos, Pt. 3 (2001)
Lower Rio Grande (2004)Upper Rio Grande, Part I (2000)
Lower Rio Grande Tributaries (2004)Upper Rio Grande, Part II (2001)
Middle Rio Grande (2006-2008)Upper Rio Grande (2017-2018)
Middle Rio Grande (2000-2007)Upper Rio Grande (2009)
Middle Rio Grande Tributaries (2005)
(+additional monitoring, 2000-2009)
Valle Vidal (2006)
Middle Rio Grande Tributaries (2014)Valles Caldera (2001)
Middle Rio Grande (1999)Zuni Watershed (2004)
Mimbres (2009)

Lake Survey Reports (through 2009) 

2009 Lakes: Bear Canyon Reservoir, East and West Fawn Lakes, Goose Lake, Santa Cruz Reservoir2002 Lakes: Jackson Lake, Lake Farmington (Beeline), Navajo Reservoir
2008 Lakes: Burn Lake, Lake Holloman2001 Lakes: Blue Hole, McAllister Lake, Santa Rosa Reservoir, Storrie Lake
2007 Lakes: Abiquiu Reservoir, Bill Evans Lake, Bitter Lake, Bosque Redondo lake, Canjilon Lake, el Vado Reservoir, figure Eight Lake, Heron Reservoir, Lake Van, Lea Lake, Middle For Lake, Nambe Lake, Ned Houk Lake, Perch Lake, Santa Fe Lake, Serpent Lake, Sink Hole #19, ters Lagunas N.E, Williams Lake2000 Lakes: Clayton Lake, Monasstery Lake, Santa Cruz Reservoir
2006 Lakes: Charette Lakes, Upper & Lower, Conchas Reservoir, Laguna Madre, Lake Alice, Lake Maloya, Maxwell 12. 13, and 14, Shuree Ponds, Lower & Upper, Springer Lake, Stubblefield Lake, Ute Reservoir1992 Playa Lakes: Chicosa Lake, Lane Salt Lake, Laguna Gatuna, Laguna Quatro, Laguna Tres, Laguna Uno, Laguna Walden, Middle Lake (Lea County), Salt (Wagon Mound) Lake, Williams Sink
2005 Lakes: Eagle Nest Lake, Fenton Lake1999 Lakes: Abiquiu Reservoir, Hopewell Lake
2004 Lakes: Bluewater Reservoir, Caballo Reservoir, Quemado Lake, Ramah Lake, San Gregorio Lake, Upper Nutria Diversion Reservoir, Zuni Cinder Cone Lake, Zuni Salt Lake1998 Lakes: Eagle Nest Reservoir, El Vado Reservoir, Five Selected Basins: Bottomless State Park, Fenton Lake
2003 Lakes: Bonito Lake, Brantley Reservoir, Grindstone Canyon Reservoir, Sumner Reservoir

Contact us

Ph: 505-827-0187 Find a list of Surface Water Quality staff contacts here.

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