Water 2120: Securing Our Water Future

Adopted as policy in 2016, WATER 2120 is the Water Authority’s newest resource management strategy.  It’s a 100-year water plan that explores a number of supply alternatives while considering various scenarios of climate change and population growth. The plan and its attendant policies (see policy document here) focus on optimizing the use of existing water supplies rather than seeking new sources. More information:

Educational video
PowerPoint presentation
One-page summary sheet 

An educational interactive water model in Excel, illustrative of the WATER 2120 planning process, is available for download from a Dropbox folder by clicking here. (You will have to enable Macros in order to operate the model; users assume all responsibility for doing so.  Please note that this is a large file [20 MB] ; a download is required and you will need to have Excel installed on your computer in order to use it).

You can also download the plan in its entirety:
Volume I – Technical Document
Volume 2 – Community Outreach
Volume 3 – Policies and Projects

Plan Overview

  • The plan builds on the community’s past success in conservation and its addition of surface water to the drinking water supply, which have allowed substantial recovery of the groundwater aquifer beneath Albuquerque.
  • By making prudent future investments in conservation, aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), storm-water capture, wastewater reuse, and other alternatives, the community can extend existing supplies for several decades under a variety of climate and growth scenarios.
  • The plan provides for a reliable water supply while wisely managing and preserving our aquifer, and will not require new or additional rate increases for implementation.

Key Elements

  • Conservation.  Over the past 20+ years, overall demand for water has dropped significantly even while population has increased.  Building on this success is a foundational element of the Water 2120 plan.
  • A diverse supply portfolio. The Water Authority currently enjoys six sources of supply: surface water, groundwater, aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), non-potable surface water for turf irrigation, and two reuse projects for turf irrigation.  The plan calls for continued use of these existing alternatives (with expansion of ASR and reuse) plus the addition of storm-water capture to the portfolio.
  • New storage capacity.  Expanded use of reuse water and the addition of storm-water resources requires the addition of new storage capacity (e.g., reservoirs and underground storage).
  • Groundwater management and preservation.  Groundwater levels in the aquifer are currently rising due to conservation and our use of surface water.  WATER 2120 establishes a management level and policies for maintaining the aquifer as a long-term resource for the community.
  • Environmental and cultural responsibility. The plan calls for no additional acquisition of pre-1907 water rights, leaving more water available for agriculture. It also emphasizes the management and preservation of the environmentally sensitive watersheds where our surface-water supply originates.