Restoration and Management

HPWA works in a 1,500 square mile landscape encompassing the Gallinas, Tecolote, Sapello, and lower Mora Watersheds. These headwater watersheds affect vast areas downstream covering the Pecos, Canadian, Arkansas, and Mississippi watersheds. We are all connected – what we do locally affects many others downstream. This section helps to familiarize you with our watersheds.


Know Your Watershed

Gallinas Watershed

Geography

The Gallinas River Watershed forms the headwaters of the Pecos River Watershed which drains into the Gulf of Mexico and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a surface water catchment that stretches over 632 square miles off the eastern flanks of the Sangre De Cristo mountains. The upper Gallinas Watershed services the City of Las Vegas, the “meadow city”, and many other towns and villages along its stretches. The Gallinas Watershed sits at the transition zone of the southern Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains.


Watershed Statistics


Water Quality

The protection of water quality in New Mexico is vitally important to the health and well‐being of all New Mexicans and the aquatic life and wildlife that inhabit its waters. The New Mexico Environment Department is responsible for maintaining and improving water quality in surface water (rivers, streams, lakes). Part of that job involves listing bodies of water that have water conditions that do not meet water quality standards.

New Mexico uses a variety of mechanisms, including state, federal, and local programs, to protect and restore the quality of its surface and ground waters. The basic underpinnings of surface water protection as provided in the United States Clean Water Act (CWA) and the New Mexico Water Quality Act (WQA) are found in the State of New Mexico Standards for Interstate and Intrastate Surface Waters [20.6.4 NMAC].

Water quality standards are comprised of the designated uses of surface waters of the state, associated water quality criteria necessary to protect these uses, and an antidegradation policy. Designated uses in New Mexico include aquatic life, fish culture, primary and secondary contact (including cultural, religious or ceremonial purposes), public water supply, industrial water supply, domestic water supply, irrigation, livestock watering, and wildlife habitat. To protect these uses and fulfill the requirements set forth in the law, coordinated programs have been developed to monitor, assess, protect, and restore surface water quality throughout New Mexico. The process of addressing impairments begins with the identification and reporting of impaired waterbodies (e.g. waterbodies not meeting their designated uses).

Some reaches of the Upper Gallinas River and Porvenir Creek do not meet state standards for temperature. The Pecos Arroyo does not meet standards for E. coli. The Lower Gallinas River does not meet state standards for turbidity, nutrients, temperature, and dissolved oxygen.

See the below file for a list of Water Quality Impairments for the Gallinas Watershed.


Story Map for the Gallinas Watershed

insert link for story map when complete


Tecolote Creek Watershed

Geography

The Tecolote watershed is in north eastern New Mexico on the eastern flanks of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. This marks the southern extent of the Rocky Mountains and the transition zone to the high plains. The headwaters of Tecolote Creek originate in mixed conifer and ponderosa pine forests on the east side of Elk Mountain and flows to the east to its confluence with the Pecos River near Tecolotito, New Mexico.


Watershed Statistics


Water Quality

The protection of water quality in New Mexico is vitally important to the health and well‐being of all New Mexicans and the aquatic life and wildlife that inhabit its waters. The New Mexico Environment Department is responsible for maintaining and improving water quality in surface water (rivers, streams, lakes). Part of that job involves listing bodies of water that have water conditions that do not meet water quality standards.

New Mexico uses a variety of mechanisms, including state, federal, and local programs, to protect and restore the quality of its surface and ground waters. The basic underpinnings of surface water protection as provided in the United States Clean Water Act (CWA) and the New Mexico Water Quality Act (WQA) are found in the State of New Mexico Standards for Interstate and Intrastate Surface Waters [20.6.4 NMAC].

Water quality standards are comprised of the designated uses of surface waters of the state, associated water quality criteria necessary to protect these uses, and an antidegradation policy. Designated uses in New Mexico include aquatic life, fish culture, primary and secondary contact (including cultural, religious or ceremonial purposes), public water supply, industrial water supply, domestic water supply, irrigation, livestock watering, and wildlife habitat. To protect these uses and fulfill the requirements set forth in the law, coordinated programs have been developed to monitor, assess, protect, and restore surface water quality throughout New Mexico. The process of addressing impairments begins with the identification and reporting of impaired waterbodies (e.g. waterbodies not meeting their designated uses).

Some reaches of Tecolote Creek and Falls Creek do not meet state standards for temperature, nutrients, and specific conductance.

See the below file for a list of Water Quality Impairments for the Tecolote Watershed.


Sapello River Watershed

Geography

The Sapello Watershed is a sub-watershed of the larger Mora Watershed. The upper watershed sits between the Gallinas to the south and the Mora to the north. The Sapello River and one of it’s major tributaries, Manuelitas Creek, originate in sub-alpine forests of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and flow to the east, traveling through mixed conifer and ponderosa pine forests, to piñon-juniper woodlands and savannahs of the high plains. The confluence of the Sapello and Mora Rivers is located near the village of Watrous, New Mexico near interstate 25.


Watershed Statistics


Water Quality

The protection of water quality in New Mexico is vitally important to the health and well‐being of all New Mexicans and the aquatic life and wildlife that inhabit its waters. The New Mexico Environment Department is responsible for maintaining and improving water quality in surface water (rivers, streams, lakes). Part of that job involves listing bodies of water that have water conditions that do not meet water quality standards.

New Mexico uses a variety of mechanisms, including state, federal, and local programs, to protect and restore the quality of its surface and ground waters. The basic underpinnings of surface water protection as provided in the United States Clean Water Act (CWA) and the New Mexico Water Quality Act (WQA) are found in the State of New Mexico Standards for Interstate and Intrastate Surface Waters [20.6.4 NMAC].

Water quality standards are comprised of the designated uses of surface waters of the state, associated water quality criteria necessary to protect these uses, and an antidegradation policy. Designated uses in New Mexico include aquatic life, fish culture, primary and secondary contact (including cultural, religious or ceremonial purposes), public water supply, industrial water supply, domestic water supply, irrigation, livestock watering, and wildlife habitat. To protect these uses and fulfill the requirements set forth in the law, coordinated programs have been developed to monitor, assess, protect, and restore surface water quality throughout New Mexico. The process of addressing impairments begins with the identification and reporting of impaired waterbodies (e.g. waterbodies not meeting their designated uses).

Some reaches of the Sapello River do not meet state standards for sedimentation/siltation, temperature, dissolved oxygen.


Lower Mora River Watershed

Geography

The Mora Watershed is located on the eastern flanks of the Sangre De Cristo where the Mora River headwaters originate, and flow east onto the high plains. The watershed extends into four counties: Colfax, Rio Arriba, San Miguel and Taos.


Watershed Statistics


Water Quality

The protection of water quality in New Mexico is vitally important to the health and well‐being of all New Mexicans and the aquatic life and wildlife that inhabit its waters. The New Mexico Environment Department is responsible for maintaining and improving water quality in surface water (rivers, streams, lakes). Part of that job involves listing bodies of water that have water conditions that do not meet water quality standards.

New Mexico uses a variety of mechanisms, including state, federal, and local programs, to protect and restore the quality of its surface and ground waters. The basic underpinnings of surface water protection as provided in the United States Clean Water Act (CWA) and the New Mexico Water Quality Act (WQA) are found in the State of New Mexico Standards for Interstate and Intrastate Surface Waters [20.6.4 NMAC].

Water quality standards are comprised of the designated uses of surface waters of the state, associated water quality criteria necessary to protect these uses, and an antidegradation policy. Designated uses in New Mexico include aquatic life, fish culture, primary and secondary contact (including cultural, religious or ceremonial purposes), public water supply, industrial water supply, domestic water supply, irrigation, livestock watering, and wildlife habitat. To protect these uses and fulfill the requirements set forth in the law, coordinated programs have been developed to monitor, assess, protect, and restore surface water quality throughout New Mexico. The process of addressing impairments begins with the identification and reporting of impaired waterbodies (e.g. waterbodies not meeting their designated uses).

Some reaches of the Lower Mora River do not meet state standards for nutrients and E. coli. Wolf Creek does not meet stream flow standards.

See the below file for a list of Water Quality Impairments for the Lower Mora River Watershed.