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Office of the State Engineer

Virden Valley E-GIS

Virden Valley E-GIS

A new state-of-the-art tool, developed by the District III Office of the State Engineer in Deming, could help eliminate the need for paper files on water rights. It will also improve administrative efficiency and customer access to information.

The computer pilot project, called Virden Valley Enterprise-Geographical Information System (E-GIS), provides a template to allow quick access to information from the agency's WATERS database via a GIS interface. All historical information on water-right ownership, location of wells, site photos, and access to people who administer the basin one day could be merged into a computer file.

For the first time, users will be able to view a graphic image from desktop computers, and with one click of the mouse be able to access the complete history of any water right.

The Virden Valley E-GIS was developed as a tool to delineate groundwater uses in the Virden Valley Underground Water Basin in southwestern New Mexico.

The Office of the State Engineer was responsible for the administration of groundwater in the Virden Valley and did not have records of numerous wells that were drilled for domestic use prior to the declaration of the basin in 1938. the original project was to find all existing wells and determine the ownership of those wells. The rest evolved from there.

District III staff members assisted by compiling well data in the field, and entering that data into the GIS. The GIS data then was compared against agency records, Globe Equity Decree No. 59, and historical maps.

Additional data added within the last two years includes Global Positioning Systems(GPS) files for ditches, roads, gauging stations, sluices, and flumes in the Virden Valley. The scope of the Virden Valley Project was expanded in 2003 to include WATERS data and linking the two databases into the E-GIS.

For more information about this project, contact the District III Office in Deming at (575) 546-2851.