New aquifer study receives funding

ALAMOSA — The Mosca-Hooper Conservation District received approval from the Rio Grande Basin Roundtable on Tuesday for the funding of the San Luis Valley Recharge Optimization Project.

This initiative is a pilot project. The Mosca Hooper Conservation District along with Ziegler Geologic Consulting, LLC. are seeking to conduct a hydrogeologic study that will be the first of its kind for the Rio Grande Basin. The project is designed to be a complement to existing information that is already informing groundwater modeling in the San Luis Valley. The study is set to take place in Alamosa County across various sites.

The funding from the Rio Grande Roundtable will be used towards the actual implementation of the project. This will include the mapping of the geophysical features of the unconfined aquifer system. In order to gain improved mapping capability, a tool known as Electrical Resistivity Technology will be utilized. This tool has seen a great deal of use across other regions of the U.S. However, this will be the first time this tool has been utilized within the San Luis Valley. The hope is that the information that is compiled can be put into a format that is publicly meaningful format that will be useful for the entire Valley.

This project is also intended to find site-specific differences and find where there are potential for impeding recharge to the aquifer system. Another way of describing it might be measuring the soil depths that water must travel before reaching the unconfined aquifer.

The concept is really very straightforward. The more data that is available from the aquifer system, the more informed water users and decision makers can be. The general consensus from the members of the Roundtable was that this will be a worthwhile endeavor.