ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The Albuquerque Basin, which runs from under Santa Fe all the way to Socorro County, has risen significantly over the last year, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey.
The survey shows the aquifer has risen as much as 10-15 feet in some areas in the last year.
Until this point the aquifer, which is the main source of drinking water for the areas above it, had been depleting 3 feet per year alarming the experts and others.
The city of Albuquerque was already in danger of sinking, a situation other cities have already experienced, said John Stomp, the chief operating officer for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority.
"The land is held up by water and dirt, and when you take a certain amount of it away, the land starts to sink," he added.
A measurement of the aquifer levels back in 1995 showed that Albuquerque was just 90 feet away from hitting that critical level.
Stomp cited the San Juan-Chama water project as the main reason the aquifer is replenishing itself. It was completed in 2008 and now provides 50 percent of Bernalillo County's drinking water.
The project water begins in the San Juan River and is piped over the Continental Divide to the Chama River, which feeds the Rio Grande.
Conservation efforts have made a huge impact resulting the 8 billion fewer gallons being used a year compared to our usage back in 1995, Stomp said. That is significant considering how much Albuquerque has grown in 17 years.
Stomp called the progress amazing but said the conservation effort needs to continue.
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