I think that the effort to take groundwater in Catron Co is tied to Albuquerque water use upstream. There are others with whom I've spoken who share this belief.
The relationship is like this: The San Juan-Chama water has been flowing for a long time and has been providing a significant source of water flow to the Rio Grande, helping the state meet Rio Grande Compact delivery requirements. If Albuquerque starts using its San Juan-Chama water and the equivalent amount of native Rio Grande water it says it needs as "conveyance", then the river will lose as much as 45-48,000afy in flow.
Taking Catron County groundwater and transfering it to surface water discharge into the Rio Grande (selling it to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority) will allow Albuquerque to use more water upstream and not risk penalties from the State Engineer.
I thought that the issue was dormant; I didn't realize it was under some sort of process. Please let me know what is going on and I'll spread the word around here. If you need any advice or information, let me know and I'll see if I can find someone to help.
-- Michael Jensen
Grants & Communication
PO Box 238
Taos NM 87571
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