Buying Land in Santa Fe

Water Wells in New Mexico

Water is a most valuable commodity in New Mexico, with most rural properties having the right to drill a private well as most rural properties on acreage are not connected to a public water system.  Well permits are governed by the New Mexico State Engineer’s Office.  Water use from the well is dictated by the date the land was subdivided, size of the lot as well as other possible regulations and well agreements, particularly if the well is shared.  The volume of water use allowed is measured by “acre-foot.”  An acre-foot is approximately 325,851 gallons per year.  The condition and amount of water available from a well may vary seasonally.   Indoor and outdoor water use may be subject to restrictions that could affect the buyer’s ability to use the property as the buyer intends, so a thorough investigation into the water situation on any land purchased is a must.  Well water in New Mexico is often “hard” water – full of minerals – and so often a water softening system is needed to protect pipes and appliances.  A water filtration system may also be needed to improve the drinking quality of the water.