Well Driller Information and Reports
The Office of the State Engineer is responsible for regulating the construction and abandonment of wells and the licensing of well drillers in the state of New Mexico. Any person desiring to engage in the drilling of one or more wells for underground water within the boundaries of any underground source shall file an application with the state engineer for a driller license.
It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to drill or to begin the drilling of a well for water from an underground source without a valid,existing license for the drilling of such wells issued by the State Engineer of New Mexico. All drillers must obtain a license from this office before working in New Mexico.
The Well Drillers Licensing program is administered by the Santa Fe Statewide Projects group within the Water Rights Division. Any calls or questions that you have should be directed to Jerri Pohl, Project Lead at (505) 827-6120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
NM Water Rights Reporting System (NMWRRS) provides on-line access to OSE water right files including downloadable well reports and driller license reports. The system also provides a UTM conversion tool.
The Office of the State Engineer adopted a continuing education program for well drillers and drill rig supervisors on August 31, 2005. The continuing education requirements are part of the Rules and Regulations Governing Well Driller Licensing; Construction, Repair and Plugging of Wells (see Subsection C of 188.8.131.52 NMAC and Subsection C of 184.108.40.206 NMAC).
The Office of the State Engineer has created public handouts to assist the public with questions on selecting a well driller and general well drilling requirements.
Effective June 30, 2017 the Rules and Regulations governing Well Driller Licensing; Construction, Repair and Plugging of Wells were updated and take effect. The regulations include revised well drilling and construction requirements, continuing education requirements for well drillers and drill rig supervisors, revised requirements for registration as a drill rig supervisor, and revised well driller licensing and license renewal requirements which include a New Mexico Code Exam for both driller and drill rig supervisors.
New Mexico Well Program Recognized
New Mexico’s well tagging system is receiving quite a bit of recognition by several prestigious national health and environmental organizations. They include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (below are some of the graphics featured on the some of the organizations’ websites).
Two years ago, the Department of Health (DOH) initiated a private well collaborative that allows trained staff to go to rural areas and test well water for nitrates, coliforms, bacteria and other potential health concerns. The OSE’s Jerri Pohl was on the technical advisory team for this project. She said one of the issues that testers ran into was the lack of identification on some wells.
To help alleviate this problem, the recently updated New Mexico Administrative Code for well drillers now requires that identification tags be placed on newly constructed production wells. Having wells identified not only will help the DOH, but also OSE staff when they’re transferring well ownerships, adjudications and collecting automated meter readings via the bar code on the well’s tag.