Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Test Drilling Begins in Catron County

By John Larson
Mountain Mail Article Sept. 18, 2008

DATIL – Drilling has begun for a planned test well on the San Agustin Plains in Catron County.

According to neighboring property owner Marie Lee of Datil, the drilling company, Henkle Drilling and Supply of Gordon City, Kan., the drilling equipment was moved in last week, and drilling started Friday night.



Tessa Lee said...

You Know what my name is Tessa Lee and I'm Marie Lee's daughter so you see I can see the damn well drilling site RIGHT NOW!!! And I dont like 1 bit of this!!! WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE OUR FAMILY'S WATER ask ANYONE in Datil or on catron county or in the double H, they'll tell you that it's all a piece of crap excuse my langue but it is!!! I'm tired of it =[[ I wish it would stop and I could go back to living my life =[[

Bolek said...

Hi Tessa,

I am sorry to hear about your troubles. I would like to ask you, however, about your opinion of a possibility of a property purchase. I am almost at the point of a sale closing of Ponderosa View Ranch parcel. One of the things that caught my eye was a clause related to water. They do not guarantee water availability on their ranch for no more than 20 years. This gave me a pause because if I am to move in, how am I supposed to survive without water?

So my question to you, as a local resident, would be:

- What is the 'real' water situation in Pie Town area?
- Is the commercial drilling for water going to continue and go ahead with their plans?

I would greatly appreciate your answer on this.


Lif Strand said...

Bolek: The "real" water situation in the Pie Town area is buyer beware.

There will be a hydrology report as part of the Ponderosa View Ranch subdivision CC&Rs. Typically the water availability provided in thse reports will say something about "if X percentage of property owners drill wells, then there is likely enough water for them for Y number of years". This is not a guarantee that any one lot will have water, of course, just a general finding for the whole subdivision and all the lots. Also, the hydrology report doesn't include any massive sucking of water by the Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC, which would accelerate the running out of water.

So if you buy in that subdivision, and you are lucky enough to dig a well with water, then if over the course of time most of the lot owners dig wells and move onto their property, there is a likelihood that your well, along with all your neighbors' wells, will go dry in just about 20 years. Since this has been fully disclosed, and you will have signed a statement saying you got the information, you will not have any recourse. If you are concerned about this, you should either buy land elsewhere, or you should try to buy up as many lots around you as you can to prevent lots of other wells from going in and sucking out the water from the aquifer.

How can you live without water after then (or if your well goes dry because of the LLC)? You can haul water from elsewhere - if it's available - or you can leave. Unfortunately, you'll be leaving without being able to sell your property, since with no water your property value will drop down to zero (it won't even have value for a rancher to graze cattle on, since it's in a subdivision).

That's why I said "buyer beware". This is dry country with limited water. The more people who want to dig wells and suck water out of the aquifers, the less water there is available for all. You can only divide a limited quantity of something so many times before each share doesn't amount to enough to be worth anything.