The municipal water supply for Albuqerque and Bernalillo County comes from an underground aquifer (groundwater) and from the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Project, which conveys and treats surface water from the Colorado River Basin. As part of implementation of Policy H of Water 2120: Protecting Albuquerque’s Water Future, the Water Authority has a Source Water Protection Program to ensure these water sources are protected and to ensure the quality of water now and into the future. The overarching mission of the Water Authority’s Source Water Protection Program is to:

“Ensure the quality of our surface water and groundwater resources so that public health, quality of life, and economic vitality of this and future generations has not diminished.”

To accomplish that, the Water Authority has updated the Water Quality Protection Policy and Action Plan (WQPPAP), now referred to as the Rivers and Aquifers Protection Plan (RAPP). The RAPP is the Water Authority’s guiding document for the protection of both groundwater and surface water resources.  The RAPP provides goals, protection measures, and recommendations to guide source water protection efforts. Additionally, the RAPP includes detailed source water assessments that inventory known and/or potential threats to water quality and then uses that inventory to determine how much risk of contamination exists for our drinking water sources. The goals for source water protection are to:

  • Advocate for and protect the source water quality in the service area.
  • Advocate for the enforcement of federal and state regulations implemented to protect source water from contamination.
  • Maintain a current inventory of known groundwater contamination sites, identify priority sites, and work with local, state, and federal agencies to expedite corrective action.
  • Define and improve the coordination and effectiveness of the multiple local jurisdictions with an interest in source water protection.
  • Engage public participation in source water protection planning and implementation.

2018 Final RAPP [35 MB pdf]

During the May 2018 Customer Conversations, the Water Authority identified the need for a single-stop resource for information on customer source water protection activities. The Water Authority Source Water Protection website includes tips for how to protect source waters at home and throughout the watershed, along with links to local and state agency information.

The Water Authority created two graphics for the Customer Conversations and the RAPP to illustrate both the sources of drinking water and the potential threats that were evaluated during the source water assessments:

Where our Water Comes From (English) [3.4 MB pdf]

De Dónde Viene Nuestra Agua (Spanish) [3 MB pdf]

Potential Sources of Groundwater Contamination (English) [12.2 MB pdf]

Posibles Fuentes de Contaminación del Agua Subterránea (Spanish) [11 MB pdf]