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Low Water Use Policy




For the past 40 years the Laboratory has pumped water from a spring in Sawmill Canyon, 2000 feet lower in altitude than the Main Building. That system is no longer in use.

The only water available for domestic use must be hauled up the mountain in a truck, to be emptied into a tank for use in the Main Building. There is additional water in an underground storage tank that is reserved for fire-fighting, but it is not potable and cannot be used in the building’s plumbing system.

The domestic water supply must carefully be conserved.

We ask you to follow these practices:

  • Take quick showers. Select the lowest flow that you can to get the job done.
  • Please do not hand-wash or machine-wash laundry at the Lab. If you need to wash your clothes or linens, please use one of the laundromats in Socorro or Magdalena.



    We encourage you to bring your own sleeping bag, or sheets (suitable for a single bed), mattress pad, pillows, and blankets, and your own towels. If you need to launder them during your stay, please do so in town.

    There are bed linens and pillows available at the Laboratory. However, if you use them, please take them to town at the end of your stay, wash them at a laundromat (the blankets require dry-cleaning), and return them either to the Lab or to the Laboratory Office on campus during business hours. We would prefer that you provide your own linens.

    If you leave dirty linens when you depart you will be charged a $50.00 laundry fee.


    You will be responsible for all your own meals. This will include shopping, proper food storage, cooking, washing all your dishes promptly after each meal, keeping refrigerators and appliances clean, and keeping the kitchen and dining areas clean. It is important that no food items are available to attract rodents or insects.

    The domestic water supply can be used for washing dishes. There is a dishwasher in the kitchen, and we ask that all residents assure that it is run only when it is fully loaded.

    Special water in 5- or 10-gallon jugs will be provided in the kitchen for drinking and food preparation.

    As noted above, conservation of water is paramount.


    Laboratory Use Fee: $125 per person per day is the standard fee for use of the Laboratory; it includes lodging if you choose to stay overnight. Other services and equipment can be provided with sufficient advance notice; please inquire. We are in the process of preparing a standard price list for services that are commonly requested, including communication hookups, data from the LMA or field mills, and high-speed optical video records of lightning.