Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rio Grande Diversion comment


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
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1 comment:

Lif Strand said...

[This is posted from an email sent to SAWC]

I believe that the assumption is incorrect. The San Juan Chama water is an inter-basin transfer of waters outside of the Rio Grande Basin and are accounted for separately. Specifically, those waters are not part of the Compact and do not contribute to New Mexico's delivery obligations. Point in fact, we hold an account in Elephant Butte of Albuquerque's water (SJ-C) and New Mexico cannot use this as part of their compact delivery to the reservoir. However, it would seem that the Catron Co. water project does seem like an effort to supplement the Rio Grande for further upstream diversions

Mike Landis
Note: Mr Landis is a civil engineer with a specialty in hydrology and works for the Bureau of Reclamation.