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IMPROVING NEW MEXICO’S WATER MANAGEMENT - page 27 / 47

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is a map of New Mexico’s major rivers and urban water values. Two values are indicated; the

long term annual value and the water right value.

Figure 1: Urban Water Values (annual) and Willingness to pay for Additional Water Rights

Farmington long term annual value:

$202

San Juan River

water right value: $3,108

Santa Fe

long term annual value: $4,315 water right value: $66,380

Canadian River

Albuquerque

long term annual value:

$313

water right value: $4,814

Pecos River

Rio Grande River

long term annual value:

Roswell $312

water right value: $4,800

Gila River

Las Cruces

long term annual value:

$292

water right value: $4,487

long term annual value:

El Paso $456

water right value: $7,012

Figure 2 indicates the seasonal value of water as a productive input into agriculture. This

is what a farmer might be willing to lease water for on a short term basis. Also indicated is the

capitalized water right based on long term annual value (not shown) in this use. As indicated

earlier, the water right is capitalized at 2% that corresponds to the return on capital in agriculture.

This is a lower rate than other investments, but farmers have consistently shown a willingness to

invest in their farms even with a low rate of return.

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