Subject: County Field Work for San Juan-Chama Project in Open Space Park
Dear Members of the Pajarito Acres Home Owners Association Board – The Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities has been in the process of developing a project to preserve the County’s contracted (but never utilized) water rights from the San Juan-Chama Water Project. The San Juan-Chama Water Project is a federal water project that brings water from the San Juan River watershed in Colorado into New Mexico via Heron Lake and the Rio Chama into the Rio Grande. The County’s San Juan-Chama water project is an opportunity to utilize this water source and lessen the County’s reliance on their existing groundwater rights.
The approach selected to develop this project is drilling from 1 to 3 wells along the edge of White Rock Canyon capturing groundwater flowing into the Rio Grande and supplementing this captured water with the County’s share of the federal San Juan-Chama Water Project water released into the Rio Grande. The attached Figure 5E-3 shows the location of all three well sites. Well Site 3 has the best potential for the highest yield and so this site will be developed first. Well Site 2 has the second best potential and will developed second if the site 3 well does not yield the full required quantity. Well Site 1 would be developed last as it has the lowest potential. The attached Easement Verification Map shows the Well Site 3 area in more detail with the access indicated by the thin red line.
The County Department of Public Utilities wanted to alert you to the ongoing and future work in the area. Work ongoing right now is staking and flagging the selected well sites. The next step will be field investigation for Archaeological Survey and Reporting to the SHPO (scheduled for the week of 28 Jan – weather permitting). After the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) accepts and clears the selected sites (mid Feb) the sites will be surveyed and a legal description will be completed (late Feb). Each site will be approximately 1 acre. The initial estimate of a 200 x 200 feet square may be revised based on actual conditions in the field avoiding archaeological sites, mature pinon trees or other potential items. The next steps will be development of an Ordinance to remove the surveyed site from the Ordinance 252 open space preservation designation and request permission from the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Council (Mar & Apr). The following step will be the actual drilling and testing of the well (May – August). The final step will be final design and construction of the well site which would take place in 2014 after receiving approval from the State Office of the Engineer for developing the test well into a production well.
We hope this brief discussion provides you with enough information to be aware of what we are doing and why we are currently active in the area at the southeastern edge of Pajarito Acres. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss this project or receive any additional information. Thank you very much for your consideration during the development of this important County project.
Jack Richardson, PE, Sr. Engineer
County of Los Alamos – Department of Public Utilities
170 Central Park Square
Los Alamos, NM 87544