Sandia National Laboratories
Water Conservation Program
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Water Conservation Program

Water Conservation is a priority for Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico.

Sandia/New Mexico is located on Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB), at the base of the Manzano Mountains, adjacent to the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The site has approximately 5.4 million gross square feet (GSF) of existing facilities on 17,600 acres of land.

Sandia/New Mexico purchases water from KAFB. Wastewater is sent to the city of Albuquerque's wastewater treatment facility. The KAFB wells draw from the same aquifer (Middle Rio Grande Aquifer) as the city of Albuquerque.

The need to conserve

  Charts comparing earlier and current aquifer assessments
  For a full-size image, click on the thumbnail
In years past, the aquifer was considered an abyss with an unlimited supply of water. Recent findings have determined otherwise. The Albuquerque metropolitan area's dry climate (average only 8.5 inches of precipitation a year) and ever increasing population of 718,500 (2004) have placed extreme stress on Albuquerque's aquifer. If nothing is done to reduce demand on the aquifer, decreasing water supplies and increasing cost of production could have serious impacts on the economy of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico.

Partnering with others

As a result of the continual demand for water and the arid climate of the Middle Rio Grande Basin, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was created in 1995 to partner the State of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque, Sandia, KAFB, the Public Service of New Mexico, and the Department of Energy (DOE)/ National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to reduce water consumption as a community goal. Sandia plays a leading role in assisting management of the resource and identifying appropriate technologies to do so.

In addition, Sandia's water conservation program is designed to comply with the provisions of the

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Water Conservation
Sharon Sanders

Infrastructure Mgt. Team Leader
Darell Rogers

Related Links
The Sandia Water Initiative

Sandia's Energy and Infrastucture Mission Area