Picuris Pueblo has an area of approximately 27 square miles, lying almost entirely within the Embudo Creek Sub-Basin of the Rio Grande watershed. Embudo Creek originates at the confluence of the Rio Pueblo and Rio Santa Barbara on the Pueblo and runs west approximately 12.5 miles to its confluence with the Rio Grande.  Recent changes in land use practices and policies that are believed to impact the environment within the Rio Chama-Rio Grande and Embudo Creek sub-basins are: off-road vehicle use and other outdoor recreational activities; the creation of informal roads; degradation of traditional irrigation structures (acequias); lack of municipal water and sewer systems in neighboring municipalities; flood damage to public buildings and roads; illegal trash dumping; trespassing; wastes from abandoned mines; and nuisance plant species and loss of native species.