State of New Mexico > Environment Department > Surface Water Quality Bureau

Surface Water Quality Bureau
Monitoring, Assessment & Standards Section
Total Maximum Daily Loads
The Pecos Headwaters
Watershed TMDLs

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The Pecos Headwaters watershed is located in north central New Mexico. Stations were located throughout the Pecos Headwaters watershed during an intensive watershed survey performed by NMED-SWQB from March to November in 2001 to evaluate the impact of tributary streams.

A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a planning document that establishes specific goals to meet water quality standards in waterbodies where pollutant limits are exceeded. It includes current pollution loadings, reduction estimates for pollutants, information on probable sources of pollution, and suggestions to restore or protect the health of the waterbody.

Exceedences of the turbidity criterion were documented on Cow Creek (Pecos River to Bull Creek), Cow Creek (Bull Creek to headwaters), Pecos River (Canon de Manzanita to Alamitos Canyon), and Pecos River (Alamitos Canyon to Willow Creek). Bull Creek (Cow Creek to headwaters), Cow Creek (Pecos River to Bull Creek), Cow Creek (Bull Creek to headwaters), Gallinas River (Las Vegas diversion to headwaters), and Pecos River (Canon de Manzanita to Alamitos Canyon) did not meet the temperature criterion. The TMDL document addresses the above noted impairments. These impairment listings are summarized below:

Bulleted item Bull Creek - Temperature
(Cow Creek to headwaters);
Bulleted item Cow Creek - Turbidity and Temperature
(Bull Creek to headwaters);
Bulleted item Cow Creek - Turbidity and Temperature
(Pecos River to Bull Creek);
Heidi Henderson
TMDL Coordinator
(505) 827-2901

Approved TMDL 3.3 MB Download the 3.3 MB PDF file today...
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Bulleted item Pecos Headwaters Watershed TMDL (2013)
Bulleted item Upper Pecos WBP (2012)
Bulleted item Upper Gallinas River WPB (2012)
Bulleted item Gallinas Watershed Thinning FINAL Monitoring Report (2007-2009)
Bulleted item Gallinas Watershed Thinning INTERIM Monitoring Report (2007)
Bulleted item Gallinas River Watershed Resoration Action Strategy (2005)
Bulleted item Water Quality Survey Summary for the Upper Pecos River Watershed, Part I - 2001 (2004)
Bulleted item Water Quality Survey Summary for the Upper Pecos River Watershed, Part II - 2001 (2004)
Bulleted item Water Quality Survey Summary for the Upper Pecos River Watershed, Part III - 2001 (2004)
Bulleted item Water Quality Assessment of the Gallinas River and Tecolote Creek - 2001 (2002)
Bulleted item Gallinas River - Temperature
(Las Vegas Diversion to headwaters);
Bulleted item Pecos River - Turbidity
(Alamitos Canyon to Willow Creek); and
Bulleted item Pecos River - Turbidity and Temperature
(Canon de Manzanita to Alamitos Canyon).

A number of assessment units
were not able to be assessed in this document due to insufficient data. These impairments will remain on the Clean Water Act Integrated §303(d)/§305(b) List of Surface Waters until additional data are available. Additionally, assessment units whose designated uses are not existing or attainable and those that will be de-listed are detailed in this document.

A 30-day comment period on the initial draft of this document opened March 15, 2005 and closed on April 14, 2005. Public notices were published in the Albuquerque Journal North and Las Vegas Optic.  The public notice was mailed or e-mailed to appropriate portions of the SWQB mailing list  (approximately 300 recipients).  The Public Comment DRAFT and Final DRAFT versions were posted online at this location.  A public meeting was held to summarize the information and to provide a forum for interested parties to ask questions and provide comments. The meeting date allowed the public time to review the document and generate questions or comments. The meeting was held in the Village of Pecos on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 from 6-7pm at the Village Municipal Building in Pecos.  There were four (4) attendees.

All Public Comments that were submitted to SWQB staff were responded to and included as an additional appendix in the Final Draft which was submitted to the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) for their approval on June 14, 2005 during their regular public meeting.  After a brief deliberation, the WQCC approved the Final DRAFT TMDLs which subsequently was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Offices (US EPA) on September 13, 2005.

The SWQB’s Monitoring, Assessment & Standards Section will collect water quality data during the next rotational cycle. The next scheduled monitoring date for the Pecos Headwaters Watershed is 2013, at which time TMDL targets will be re-examined and potentially revised as this document is considered to be an evolving management plan. In the event that new data indicate that the targets used in this analysis are not appropriate and/or if new standards are adopted, the load capacity will be adjusted accordingly. When water quality standards have been achieved, the reach will be moved to the appropriate category in the Integrated Report.

The SWQB’s Watershed Protection Section will continue to work with watershed groups such as the Upper Pecos Watershed Association and the Hermit's Peak Watershed Alliance to develop Watershed-Based Plans (WBPs) to implement strategies that attempt to correct the water quality impairments detailed in this document. Implementation of items detailed in the WBPs will be done with participation of all interested and affected parties.  The Upper Pecos River Watershed-Based Plan was finalized in June 2012, while the Upper Gallinas River Watershed-Based Plan was completed just a bit later, in July 2012.

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