New Mexico
Environment Department

Contact Information:
(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)

Surface Water Quality

Water Quality Standards

New Mexico’s Water Quality Standards, codified at 20.6.4 NMAC, define water quality goals by designating uses for rivers, streams, lakes and other surface waters, setting criteria to protect those uses, and establishing antidegradation provisions to preserve water quality. The Standards are adopted by the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC), then approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).

Contact  Jennifer Fullam, Standards Coordinator, with any questions about WQS activities.

Current Standards
2020 Triennial Review
In accordance with Section 303(c)(1) of the CWA and New Mexico Administrative Code (“NMAC”), states are required to hold public hearings at least once every three years to review, amend, and adopt water quality standards, as applicable. This is referred to as a “Triennial Review”. The 2020 Triennial Review has been initiated and filed with the Water Quality Control Commission under WQCC 20-51(R).

Please click here for SWQB’s updates on the 2020 Triennial Review.

List of Revisions and Amendments
List of all WQS amendments, including Triennial Reviews, UAAs, and ONRWs
Other Resources
Regulations New Mexico Water Quality Act NMSA §74-6-1
Federal Clean Water Act
40 CFR Subchapter D Water Programs §130 and§131 
References Use Attainability Analysis (UAA)
Hydrology Protocol
Nutrient thresholds
Sediment thresholds
Aluminum filtration study
Air-water correlation and summary white paper