Water Conservation is a priority for Sandia National Laboratories,
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
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.
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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
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