The Rio Grande Basin encompasses approximately 8,000 square miles, including the San Luis Valley. This high mountain valley extends approximately 90 miles from north to south and 50 miles from east to west.
Other important characteristics of the Rio Grande Basin include:
Water in the Rio Grande Basin is currently over appropriated (and has been since the 1890s). All of the waters of the Rio Grande and Conejos River and their tributaries are subject to the terms of the Rio Grande Compact. The Valley’s groundwater resources have been over drafted and the areas face depleted groundwater levels throughout much of the basin. By 2050, a total shortfall of 180,000 acre feet (AF) is expected, of which 160,000 AF is the agricultural groundwater shortage to be addressed by pending SEO rules and regulations and fallowing land via the Groundwater Sub-district.
To learn more about the Rio Grande Basin, see the Basin Fact Sheet
Rio Grande Basin Roundtable (BRT) Priorities
Rio Grande BRT Activities and Accomplishments
- Achieve sustainable aquifers through better management and reduction of groundwater pumping
- Explore augmentation for growth in South Fork and other areas
- Regulate compact deliveries to minimize curtailment
- Ensure adequate water for future needs
- Augmentation for growth
The Rio Grande Basin is actively working on updates to its consumptive needs assessment and coming into compliance with the Rio Grande Compact
. The Rio Grande Basin has completed and approved Phase I of its nonconsumptive needs assessment through the creation of a map with subcategory counts 12-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs). The Rio Grande Basin used seven environmental and recreational subcategories for their mapping efforts. Nearly all HUCs within the Rio Grande Basin had at least one environmental or recreational subcategory present. The areas of the Rio Grande Basin with the highest concentration of priority subcategories are located near Crestone, south of Fort Garland, northeast of Alamosa, along Hat Springs Creek in the northwest portion of the basin, and a number of HUCs in western Conejos County.
Rio Grande Basin’s Major Projects and Programs
- Groundwater Sub-districts
- Rio Grande Reservoir enlargement
||Monthly on the 2nd Tuesday in Alamosa
The Executive Committee meets at 1p.m. prior to the meeting.
- Chair: Nathan Coombs
- Vice-Chair: Emma Reesor
- Representatives: Cleave Simpson and Travis Smith
- Recorder: Cindy Medina
- Consumptive Needs Assessment
- Nonconsumptive Needs Assessment