Client: Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA)
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Challenge. Develop a comprehensive water plan for the next 100 years that includes surface and groundwater management.
Solution. INTERA led the development of this comprehensive water plan that articulates the Water ABCWUA’s water planning for the next 100 years, including surface- and groundwater management, as well as potential new supplies. Water 2120 looked at the current water situation in Albuquerque and projects the community’s needs based on various scenarios of climate variability and population growth. The Plan builds on the Water Authority’s past planning successes with conservation and the addition of surface water to the supply portfolio, both of which have allowed significant recovery of the aquifer that was previously the sole source of supply. The Plan was based on making prudent future investments in conservation, ASR, stormwater capture, watershed restoration, and wastewater reuse. In so doing, it provides for a sustainable and resilient water supply in the face of an uncertain future, while assuring groundwater sustainability. Our staff served as the public face of Water 2120 via involvement through presentations to ABCWUA’s Technical Advisory Committee and Board of Directors, as well as public meetings and outreach. INTERA developed a dynamic system simulation model that was being used for short-term surface and groundwater accounting, as well as long-term supply and demand planning and evaluation. The model serves as a management tool for both short- and long-term planning and includes functionality to evaluate uncertainty in supply and demand as a result of forcing functions such as climate change and population dynamics. The tool also enables evaluation of ABCWUA’s existing water supply portfolio and determine at what period(s) in the future it may be necessary to expand the portfolio to meet growing demands. The model was used to evaluate and rank various water supply alternatives, aggregate the alternatives into water supply portfolios, and evaluate potential supply gaps in the future. Our team also developed a full groundwater reserve management plan to allow for prudent management of existing groundwater reserves. Water 2120 was unanimously approved by the ABCWUA’s Governing Board.