Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System EIS, NM

CLIENT:  BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

Postcard from the 1930s showing Camel Rock, a famous local landmark located on Tesuque Pueblo near Pojoaque, NM

Postcard from the 1930s showing Camel Rock, a famous local landmark located on Tesuque Pueblo near Pojoaque, NM

In response to the Aamodt Settlement Act, the Bureau of Reclamation, with direct NEPA support from EMPSi, is evaluating the potential impacts from construction of the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System in Santa Fe County, NM. The system will consist of surface water collection on the Rio Grande and treatment, transmission, storage, and distribution facilities, including almost 200 miles of pipelines that will supply up to 4,000 acre-feet of water annually to the Pueblos of San Ildefonso, Nambé, Pojoaque, and Tesuque, along with some residents of Santa Fe County. EMPSi developed an extensive and targeted public involvement program designed to accommodate the individual needs of settlement parties, county residents, and a wide range of engineering and siting constraints. 

EMPSi has prepared the draft EIS, worked with cooperators and an engaged pubic, facilitated broad outreach to the Pueblos and county residents, and oversaw complex cultural and biological field surveys—including wetlands delineations and consultations with the USFWS, State Historic Preservation Officer, Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. EMPSi is also highly engaged with the engineering staff and is working to identify potential pipeline alignments that minimize potential impacts to important archaeological, biological, and riverine resources. 

FAST FACTS:

  • Initial $92 million design and construction contract will create 90 new jobs over 4 years
  • Provides a firm, safe supply of treated drinking water to four Pueblos and Santa Fe County
  • Allows for aquifer recharge by reducing the impacts of groundwater pumping
  • Developed customized approaches for engaging with each Pueblo, along with other cooperators
  • Successfully concluded Section 7 consultation with the USFWS and currently preparing the final EIS
The Rio Grande from Otowi Bridge near San Ildefonso Pueblo, NM

The Rio Grande from Otowi Bridge near San Ildefonso Pueblo, NM

EMPSi is very demonstrably oriented to the agency and to the successful completion of the NEPA process. [They have] maintained flexibility, a cooperative and collaborative nature, and a positive and professional demeanor . . . EMPSi’s understanding of the need and how best to address it, and their immediate responsiveness, resulted in increased stakeholder [tribal] satisfaction with the NEPA process.

— Bureau of Reclamation