Magdalena Will Protest Water Rights Application
“Both Sierra and Socorro counties pumps water from the eastern edge of the San Agustin basin, so this will affect everybody”
The Magdalena Village Board of Trustees Monday night passed a motion directing Mayor Jim Wolfe to write a letter of protest to the state engineer concerning the proposal by Augustin Plains Ranch to drill 37 wells near County Line Road.
"I had this put on the agenda to see if we want to get involved with the water issue on Plains of San Agustin," Wolfe said.
Trustee Jack Fairweather said he agreed it was something that the village should protest.
"All we can do is to object to it," Fairweather said. "At least one elected official has left no doubt where he stands, and that's Don Tripp. I think as representatives of the public we could resolve to advise state engineer that we are opposed to the proposition." Read more
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#1 Dec 21, 2007
To Whom It May Concern:
Subject: Opposition to destruction of a vast Eco-system in the Southwest.
Please see the attached article from the Albuquerque Journal (12/14/2007) which outlines the plans of a New York based corporation to drill 37 wells approximately 2000 feet deep to pump vast amounts of water from the aquifer in this already drought stricken area.
If allowed to proceed, this action will utterly devastate the area, the lives of those who live there and the economy. All this will be done because of corporate greed.
It is unconscionable that we would stand by and watch, yet another, of our countrys most precious natural resources be destroyed for the financial gain of a few powerful entities.
It should be noted that this area has been in a record drought for several years now. Many of the water wells which exist for residential use are between 300 and 900 feet deep. The water level in the largest lake in New Mexico,(Elephant Butte Lake) is at an 108 year low. When the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC people sink wells to 2000 feet, you can see what will eventually happen to the residential wells in the area.
This water is our source of life and it is not limitless. When corporate America is through raping this resource, they will simply move on to their next conquest. We will be left with an irreparable tragedy.
Many residents have signed petitions against approval of this project, but these people are mostly ranchers and rural people with limited resources. I am afraid that without your help and intervention, these humble people may find themselves being steam-rolled by corporate America.
As a land owner in the Pie Town New Mexico area (where I plan to retire soon), I am asking you to please take the time to look into this matter and assist us in our endeavor to protect our way of life, our homes our future and the futures of our decedents.
C. Wayne Donham
New York company proposes moving water to Rio Grande
The Associated Press
Article Launched: 12/14/2007 12:10:49 PM MST
SANTA FE - A New York company wants to move water from Catron County into the Rio Grande, a plan that has upset residents in southwestern New Mexico.
Augustin Plains Ranch LLC proposes to pump billions of gallons of water into the Rio Grande. Its drilling application with the state engineer's office said that could help the state fulfill interstate water compact obligations to Texas, alleviate pressure on farmers to sell water rights and provide a new source of water to New Mexico cities.
The company has applied to drill 37 wells, each about 2,000 feet deep, in Catron County and pump 54,000 acre-feet of groundwater a year into the Rio Grande. An acre-foot, about 326,000 gallons, can meet the annual water needs of one to two U.S. households.
Water could go for agricultural or municipal uses, and Augustin Ranch has suggested the state could buy it to meet delivery requirements under the 1938 Rio Grande Compact.
About 300 residents of Datil, Quemado, Magdalena and Pie Town turned out for a meeting last week on the proposal, and about 200 protests had been filed against the application as of Thursday. The state engineer's office said it was receiving protests at the rate of 40 a day. The deadline is Monday.
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