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WATER LINKS

Note: The spelling varies:
Augustin or Augustine,
The ranch and legals uses Augustin Plains.
US Geological Service uses both.
When searching, try both spellings.

Court Links:

NM Public notices  
State Engineer office (APR isues)  
Lower Rio Grande Adjudication

NM Courts Case Lookup
Updates from NM Enviro. Center  

NM Environmental Law Center
NM Enviromental Law Center Docket
San Augustin Water Report Website
Food and Water Watch  and EcoWatch  
San Augustin Water Coalition
San Augustin Water Coalition (Facebook)
NM Water & Natural Resources Comm.
San Augustin LLC website
SW Research and Information Center
NM Water Resources Research Institute
Water Grabbing (Wiki)  
New Mexico Legal Notices  

USGS Library Materials for Water Resources Information.  FDLP

Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas  

list and link to NM Water Resource Projects over the last 15 years
NM Water Resources Research Inst.  

Contra Santolina - coalition of organizations opposing the Santolina development in Albuquerque  

September 26 - Court case on motion to Dismiss and Remand rescheduled for November 12th - Notice attached here  
Court case history here  

Sept 3, 2015 - current court case information: Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC v. Scott A. Verhines, P.E.

La Jicarita - NM Enviro. news  
NM Environmental Law Center  
NM Conservation votes website  
State engineer website
Sustainable research center  

IDE - A private consultancy firm - watch for conflicts of interest. Click here

November 4, 2016 -
Officials listen to water concerns.
More than 80 ranchers and concerned citizens ... (attended) a meeting by the Interim Legislative Committee for Water and Natural Resources to discuss the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC (APR) plan...

More in The Chieftain  

Song about Augustin Plains  

Videos from the October 26 meeting of WNRC:

- Video 1 of 12 - Chris Lindeen, Deputy General Counsel, Office of the State Engineer (OSE) and Brett Bruton - local rancher  

- Video 2 of 12 - Henry Edwards - local rancher  

- Video 3 of 12 - Anita Hand, Catron County Commissioner

WNRC Comments and questions

- Video 4 of 12
- Video 5 of 12
- Video 6 of 12
- Video 7 of 12
- Video 8 of 12
- Video 9 of 12
- Video 10 of 12
- Video 11 of 12
- Video 12 of 12  

Watch the 2nd district debate between Steve Pearce and Merrie Lee Soules here:

GEOLOGICAL AND WATER REPORTS

Feb. 7, 2016 - New geological report on the APR water. Click here

The Global Water Grab: A Primer  

Groundwater, Economic, and Legal Analysis of a Proposed Diversion from the San Augustin Basin of New Mexico. By - David J. Reese 2011  

NM Conference report in 2010 at Corbett Center: Water needs for the next decade - 2010

Ground water challenges of the lower Rio Grande: A case study of legal issues in TX and NM - Elizabeth Wheat Oct 2014

Interbasin transfer projects: Impacts on communities and ecosystems - Bruce Thomson- UNM 2010

1972 - HYDROGEOLOGY OF THE SAN AUGUSTIN PLAINS, NEW MEXICO An Independent Study Submitted In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Master of Science in Geology (approx May 1973  Click here  


LEGAL AND TECHNICAL DOCUMENTS

NM Legislature document search on APR.
Click here

2012- Groundwater, Economic, and Legal
Analysis of a Proposed Diversion from
the San Agustin Basin of NM
Click here  

November 30 2015 -
Speech by APR CEO Michel Jichlinksi in 2013 to the Drought Sub-committee in Las Cruces -
- Jichlinski Report to the Drought Committee 
- Jichlinski APR project - "private-public partnership".pdf
- SAWC report to the Sub-Committee

2003 - Ground water law source book in western states  


OUT OF REGION CASE STUDIES

2006 case studies: Right of way uses other than original intent.  

1990 - Mellon v Southern Pacific and MCI-right
of wa
y


OUT OF REGION MEDIA STORIES

Water fight continues; Neutral hydrogeologist weighs in..."The study, based on an analysis of existing data, groundwater models and data from three of EP's seven test wells, concluded that if the EP project continued pumping more than 1.8 billion gallons of water annually from the Middle Trinity Aquifer, local Well owners would see a negative impact on their residential wells."


GEOLOGICAL AND WATER REPORTS

May 2013 - Scientific American - Aquifers May Be Latest Casualty of Drought

U.S. water aquifer levels have been dropping at an accelerating rate for decades

2015 - Groundwater Challenges of the Lower Rio Grande: A Case Study of Legal Issues in Texas and New Mexico. Click here  

Feb. 7, 2016 - New geological report on the APR water. Click here

The Global Water Grab: A Primer  

Groundwater, Economic, and Legal Analysis of a Proposed Diversion from the San Augustin Basin of New Mexico. By - David J. Reese 2011  

NM Conference report in 2010 at Corbett Center: Water needs for the next decade - 2010

Ground water challenges of the lower Rio Grande: A case study of legal issues in TX and NM - Elizabeth Wheat Oct 2014

Interbasin transfer projects: Impacts on communities and ecosystems - Bruce Thomson- UNM 2010

1972 - HYDROGEOLOGY OF THE SAN AUGUSTIN PLAINS, NEW MEXICO An Independent Study Submitted In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Geology (approx May 1973
 Click here  

Bruno Modena,
Vittorino Modena,

 

Bruno Modena,
Vittorino Modena,

2016-2018 WATER NEWS

November 1, 2018 -
An Aquifer From the Ice Age Becomes a Battleground in New Mexico. EcoWatch    Download  

October 8, 2010 -
The Race to Buy Up the World's Water. NewsWeek  

APR VS BLAINE
Case D-728-CV-201800026 Files Oct. 3, 2018

October 10, 2018 -
Current Court Filing with register of actions

October 5, 2018 -
Two Court notices dated August 13, 2018 -

1 - State of NM Catron County Seventh Judicial district Court:   In the matter of the corrected Application filed by Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC, for permit to appropriate ground water in the Rio Grande Underground Water Basin in the State of New Mexico. Download here  

2 - State of NM Catron County Seventh Judicial district Court:   Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC - Applicant/Appellant) v. Tom Blaine, P.E. and Protestants (Listed). Download here

October 12, 2018 -
Case Updates from NM Enviromental Law Center

Santolina - This is a very complex set of cases and filings. For the Level A Master Plan (which covers the entire proposed development), we appealed the County Commission approval of the Plan to the Court of Appeals and the paperwork on that by all the parties may be complete. Also in the Court of Appeals is an appeal by Bernalillo County of the 2nd Judicial District Court's decision voiding the Zone Map change for the Santolina development. The developer, Western Albuquerque Land Holdings (WALH), also filed an appeal of that decision and our Answer brief to their appeal is due October 30th. For the Level B Master Plan approval (Level B is for a sub-section of the whole Level A Master Plan), we have filed in District Court our Statement of Appellate Reasons and are waiting for the

Agustin Plains Water Grab -
Augustin (sic) Plains Ranch (APR) has filed a Notice of Appeal of the State Engineer's decision to deny - for the third time - APR's application to mine more than 17 billion gallons of aquifer water annually. We will soon file our Notice of Entry and a Motion for Summary Judgement (a request that the court issue a decision based on the merits of our case without having to go to trial).

October 9, 2018 -
San Augustin Water Coalition Meeting Tuesday, October 9th 6 p.m. at the Datil Baptist Church.

September 25, 2018 - As New Mexico Reservoirs Hit Bottom, Worries Grow Over the Future. ... The state’s reservoirs have done their job to help water users survive record drought in 2018. Now they are almost totally dry, and tensions are building over the year ahead. ‘Climate change is really happening,’ one water official says.  News Deeply  

September 19, 2018 - Monsoon Storms, Key to Recharging Groundwater, May Become Less Common. ... A new study has revealed that monsoons in the Southwest have already become less common but more extreme in nature, posing new challenges for water managers eager to capture crucial runoff.  News Deeply  

September 17, 2018 - In New Mexico, Move to Reuse Fracking Water Stirs Cry for Transparency. ... The state formed a working group, with the blessing of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to find ways to reuse wastewater from natural gas fracking wells. But concerned citizens say the process needs more daylight.
 News Deeply  

August 14, 2018 - New Mexico Groundwater Diversion Plan Rejected as ‘Water Speculation’. ...Augustin Plains Ranch wanted to build 37 wells and a pipeline to deliver groundwater from remote Catron County to the Albuquerque metro area. For the third time, the state engineer found the plan would violate New Mexico law.  News Deeply  

(2012) Protecting Resources for Land-Based People: The New Mexico Water-Transfer Conundrum. Poverty Law  

August 31, 2018 -
Santolina development takes another step forward. ... Bernalillo County Commission approved Santolina’s first Level B Master Plan on (Aug. 29, 2018) ... bringing the massive 21-square-mile development southwest of Interstate 40 and 118th Street one step closer to fruition. Abq Journal  .

August 1, 2018 - Giving Back to the Rio Grande, One Deal, One Drop at a Time. ... With a dismal snowpack this year and parts of the Rio Grande running dry, a new deal among an environmental group, municipalities and businesses in New Mexico will help restore some flows for the river to benefit the ecosystem and endangered species.  
News Deeply
 

APR, llc, UPDATE - AUGUST 2018

September 17, 2018 -
State says no to APR hearing - Chieftain

September 5, 2018 -
From NM State Engineer - Dated 8/28/18) - Order Denying Applicant's Request for (Evidentiary) Hearing.
Legal Document
  vittorio modena

August 31, 2018 -
083118-Wild Earth Joinder-on App Expedited hearing Legal Document   vittorio modena

September \August 30, 2018 -
Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District's Joinder in the Community Protestant's Response in Opposition to APR request for evidentiary hearing. Legal Document 

August 30, 2018 -
Water Rights Division's response to applicant's expedited request for post-decision evidentiary hearing. (Conclusion: "No expedited hearing is needed before the appeal can proceed. The Expedited Request should therefore be denied") Legal Document   vittorio modena

August 29, 2018 - vittorio modena
Navajo Nation's joinder in protestant Hand's Response to Applicant's Expedited Request for Post-Decision Evidentiary Hearing.  Legal Document

August 28, 2018 -
New Mexico Environmental Law Center responds to APR Expedited Request. Legal Document  

August 28, 2018 -
Catron County response to applicant's (APR) expedited request for post-decision evidentiary hearing.
Legal Document  

August 28, 2018 - An Aquifer From The Ice Age Becomes A Battleground in New Mexico. ... In the heart of New Mexico's beautiful, umarred San Augustin Valley, a battle has been waging between the protectors of precious resources and a billionaire looking to make more money. See who is winning - for now. Food & Water Watch
or download

August 27, 2018 - vittorio modena
Protest (Anita) Hand's response to applicant's expedited request for post-decision evidentiary hearing
Legal Document  

August 27, 2018 - vittorio modena
Attorney: Water decision correct. Chieftain  

August 24, 2018 -
APR- Applicants Expedited Request for Post-Decision Evidentuary Hearing  Legal Document  

August 16, 2018 -
APR to Appeal Denial of Application to The 7th Judicial Court (Socorro)  

In the order denying the application to mine water in the Plains of San Augustin, the Hearing Officer stated that "In the absence of a specific plan to appropriate a specific quantity of water for specific identified beneficial uses, there is no showing of a non-speculative need, which is a requirement for the issuance of a permit under which a water right may be developed. ... All of the findings of fact and conclusions of law set out above collectively support the conclusion that APR's Corrected Application is speculative and should be denied." The State Engineer stated in the order, "I ACCEPT AND ADOPT THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE HEARING EXAMINER THIS DAY OF JULY, 2018."

Nevertheless, the APR has appealed. Why they appealed or what kind of arguments they will bring before a judge remains to be seen. The appeal avoids the need for a full evidentiary hearing on permit to drill 37 wells and pump 54,000 acre-feet per year out of the area.
(Download press release)
 

August 15, 2018 -
Augustin Plains Ranch appeals decision. Chieftain  

August 3, 2018 -
State engineer accepts recommendation denying water application.  Chieftain  

August 2, 2018 -
From Douglas Meiklejohn Attorney - NM Environmental Law Center: Hearing Officer's report recommending that the State Engineer grant the motions for summary judgment that Catron County and we filed. As is indicated on page 13, the State Engineer accepted the recommendation.  Report and Recommendation Granting Motions for Summary Judgement  

Bottom line: "All of the findings of fact and conclusions of law set out above collectively support the conclusion that APR’s Corrected Application is speculative and should be denied."

August 20, 2018 - Water Protectors Charged With Felonies Under Louisiana’s Anti-Protest Law.  TruthOut  

August 5, 2018 -
Battle for Water Rights Heats Up in El Salvador.
TruthOut  

July 27, 2018 - Navajo Nation Substitution of Counsel notification  

July 16, 2018 - Oil Boom in Southern New Mexico Ignites Groundwater Feud With Texas. ... Drilling new water wells is strictly regulated in New Mexico, causing hardship for an oil industry that needs water for fracking. So groundwater is being piped across the state line from Texas, prompting worry over the shared aquifer.  News Deeply  

July 2018 - Bosque Del Apache news letter.
Note the water problems on the Rio Grande.

DANCE FOR WATER!!
Benefit dance will be held on June 23rd to raise funds for legal expenses. Datil Community Center, 8:00 p.m. after the Farr Memorial roping. The Wild Ride Band will play until midnight.

Also, another Pendleton blanket has been donated for a raffle. This one is a limited edition "Weaver's Series #1" designed by Navajo weaver, Roselyn Begay. Tickets are $5.00 each, or 5 for $20.00. It will be displayed at the dance, and at subsequent events. Drawing will be held the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

May 30, 2018 - APR watr grab update from Carol Pittman:
There is still no decision by the State Engineer on the application to mine water in the Plains of San Augustin. While we wait, let’s assess the situation.

The proposed project by the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC (APR LLC) is one which we, the community, must fight on three fronts.

1) The legal front. We have twice won on this front because we have had top-notch representation by the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. NMELC continues to represent us and should you have a couple of bucks to spare, a donation would help us meet our expenses (travel, court filings, copying, mailing). Here is a link to their website: http://www.nmelc.org/ You can also send a check to NMELC, 1405 Luisa St., Suite #5, Santa Fe NM 87505. In either case be sure to indicate that your donation if for the “Augustin Plains account.”

2) The second front we must fight on is the technical front. As you may know, the APR LLC has engaged Occam Engineering to conduct a hydrological study of the Plains. Occam Engineering is corporate president Scott Verhines, the former State Engineer who denied the APR LLC’s application, and Estevan Lopez, former head of the Interstate Stream Commission, a protestant of the application. These two men have changed sides.

We, therefore, must do our own hydrological study. If you’d like to contribute to our hydrology fund, there are two ways to do that. Make a donation to the San Augustin Water Coalition, PO Box 613, Datil NM 87821. Designate your donation for the “Hydrology Fund.” OR, go on line to the Southwest Research and Information Center http://www.sric.org/ and contribute to the Augustin Plains account. SRIC administers our grant funds, but also takes individual donations.

The investment you make to save our community will also protect the investment you’ve made in your home and/or business.

3) The third front in our water battle is political. While I'm not suggesting that anyone be a one-issue voter, I do suggest that you consider voting for those who stand with our community on this issue. If this project is approved it will set a precedent that can harm all of New Mexico's rural communities.
Socorro Voting Places.pdf
Catron Voting Places.pdf  
Download the above update.pdf

April 26, 2018 - Augustin Plains Ranch OpEd makes astounding claims - Download.pdf

April 18, 2018 - Jichlinski responds to Sen Heinrich article in the Chieftain   .pdf version 
Original Sen Meinrich article here  Chieftain
pdf version

April 26, 2018 - 'We'll survive': Officials: Farmers have water despite early drying Rio Grande - Download.pdf

APRIL 17, 2018
2018 SAWC ANNUAL MEETING VIDEOS:
The presentation of an on-going study of the San Augustin Plains Aquifer by Dr. Alex Rinehart (Hydrogeology, Geomechanics) from NM Tech Earth and Environmental Science -
1 of 4.webm

2 of 4.webm

3 of 4.webm

4 of 4.webm

Alex Reinhart presentation slides.

April 6, 2018 -
(East Mountain) Water dispute has statewide implications. Mountainview Telegraph  

Related:
North 14 Deep Well Protest website

April 5, 2018 -
Despite Overwhelming Opposition From Residents, Michigan Permits Nestlé to Draw More Groundwater for Bottling. ... Out of 81,862 comments filed, only 75 were reportedly in favor of granting the permit.  AlterNet  

April 5, 2018 -
Navajo water ruling will be appealed to NM Supreme Court. An attorney for non-Indian water users in northwest New Mexico says he will appeal a decision by the New Mexico Court of Appeals upholding an agreement between the Navajo Nation and state government settling Navajo water rights claims in the San Juan River basin.
Albuquerque Journal
  .PDF

April 4, 2018 - Letter from Rep Gail Armstrong to Zinke, head of the Deptartment of the Inetrior regarding the removal of their "objection" to the APR project.  Armstrong Letter

April 2, 2018 -
Water grab on the plains of San Agustin. Letter to the editor by Sen. Martin Heinrich.  Chieftain   Download .PDF

March 24, 2018 -
Warehouse 1-10 WATER 2018
Panel discussion.


The Panelists left to right:
* Mary Katherine Ray,
Wild Life Photographer and Chair for the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club
*
Douglas Meiklejohn,
Founder and Executive Director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center
* Carol Pittman,
The Augustin Plains Challenge San Augustin Plains Water Grab.

* Fred Phillips,
Professor of Hydrology at Dept. of Earth & Enviro. Science, NM Tech
*
Gail Armstrong,
State Representative for District 49
* Ed Katzenberger,
Watershed Discipleship. Cooperative interfaith effort between Albuquerque Mennonite Church and NM Interfaith Power and Light

VIDEOS
Part 1.webm or mp4    Part 2,webm or mp4
Part 3.webm or mp4    Part 4.webm or mp4   
Part 5.webm or mp4    Part 6.webm or mp4
                    Part 7 webm or mp4

March 27, 2017 - Letter from Senator Heinrich to US IN terrior re: Interrior removing APR form their "protest" to the project. Download here    
Related: The Plains of San Agustin have been designated a “Most Endangered Place” by the New Mexico Heritage, Preservation Alliance, a statewide, private, nonprofit historic preservation organization. Download here


Warehouse 1-10 is proud
to present WATER 2018
Saturday, March 24th - 1 to 3pm

At Warehouse 1-10 is at 110 North Main, Magdalena.

Art Exhibits
Panel Discussion starting at Noon
Download the flyer:  Word or PDF

Coke, Nestle Near Ownership Of World’s Second Largest Aquifer. ... A concerted push is underway in South America that could see the Guarani Aquifer, one of the world’s largest reserves of fresh water, soon fall into the hands of transnational corporations such as Coca-Cola and Nestle. Popular Resistance  

USGS Library Materials for Water Resources Information.  FDLP

March 1, 2018 - APR Update from Randell Major:

I sat in on SM 30 "NO PERMIT FOR AUGUSTIN PLAINS RANCH WATER". It made it through several committees and then to the Senate Chamber and passed 36 to nothing. Which is good! Even though this memorial does not have the legal authority to direct the State Engineer what to do, it does send a strong signal.

This part is my opinion. The San Augustin Plains Ranch LLC has their lobbyist and are going strong to get our water. Senator Joseph Cervantes pointed out many different cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and others that get their water from somewhere else. Making the comment that NM may need to do the same" move water around". We need to keep up the fight. These guys are not going away anytime soon.  
Full report on meeting here     Copy of SM30 here  

February 21, 2018 -

Interbasin transfers of water, that is, the movement of water from one basin to another, has consequences for the go-to area as well as the take-from area. It has been a common occurrence to move surface water from one area to another, via a diversion, tunnel or pipeline. The transfer of groundwater is beginning to appeal to water managers as scarcity becomes more pressing. Treatises have been written on the subject and this venue is not appropriate for a long explanation, but awareness is of great importance as we have learned from what is happening on the Augustin Plains. Briefly, here are the questions we might ask when an interbasin transfer of water is proposed:

1) What is the environmental cost to the take-from area? Will it kill the grass? the trees? Will it leave enough water for people, livestock and wildlife? And what happens to the land when large transfers occur?

2) What is the environmental cost to the go-to area? Does the water “fit” the area?

3) What is the economic cost to the take-from area? We have learned from the Augustin Plains experience that not much can happen in an area where the water supply is threatened. Catron County has experienced little growth for 10 years.

4) What is the cost of the water in the go-to area? Does the entity in charge of the project expect to make a profit?

4) How sustainable is the water supply? What happens to the go-to area when this finite resource is gone? What happens in the take-from place when the finite resource is exhausted? These two questions are extremely important in a semi-arid climate.
We can ask more questions, but these should get you thinking about the need for regulation that will ensure fairness for all. “El agua is vida” applies to all life and has ramifications extending beyond basic needs.
-
Carol Pittman

Related: Comments by Rocking R Ranch -
I sat in on SM 30 "NO PERMIT FOR AUGUSTIN PLAINS RANCH WATER". It made it through several committees and then to the Senate Chamber and passed 36 to nothing. Which is good! Even though this memorial does not have the legal authority to direct the State Engineer what to do, it does send a strong signal.

This part is my opinion. The San Augustin Plains Ranch LLC has their lobbyist and are going strong to get our water. Senator Joseph Cervantes pointed out many different cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and others that get their water from somewhere else. Making the comment that NM may need to do the same" move water around". We need to keep up the fight. These guys are not going away anytime soon. - Randell Major

February 19, 2018 - Legislative update from Carol Pittman:
The Legislative session is over and some good things happened. Gail Armstrong, our representative to the New Mexico House of Representatives, will host a Town Hall meeting at the Eagle Guest to bring us a recap. The meeting will also be an opportunity for you to express your concerns for our community. I’d like to suggest that Gail sponsor legislation on interbasin water transfers, and show Gail that we will support such legislation.

HERE ARE THE MEETING DETAILS:
Place: Eagle Guest Cafe, Datil
Time: 4:30-6pm
Date: Friday, February 23rd

January 31, 2018 - Notice of Substitution of Coursel and entry of Appearance. from   NM Land Office

January 25, 2018 - Senator Munoz is the sponsor. The Memorial says it is “Asking the Office of the State Engineer to Refrain from Issuing a Permit to Augustin Plains Ranch Limited Liability Company to Appropriate fifty-four Thousand Acre-Feet of Water.” You can check it out at the link below

SENATE MEMORIAL 30 - 53RD LEGISLATURE- STATE OF NEW MEXICO - SECOND SESSION, 2018
INTRODUCED BY - George K. Munoz - A MEMORIAL ... ASKING THE OFFICE OF THE STATE ENGINEER TO REFRAIN FROM ISSUING A PERMIT TO AUGUSTIN PLAINS RANCH LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY TO APPROPRIATE FIFTY-FOUR THOUSAND ACRE-FEET OF WATER. Download the Memorial

WATER 2120 - Securing Albuquerque's Water Future. YouTube

Drought Risk Rising as a Second La Niña Winter Kicks In. Weather Underground Drought Map

Other news below the block of Motion documents
December 21, 2017 -
State water rights experts: Controversial water project is ‘speculative’ NM Political Report
December 21, 2017 -
Official questions water project. ... Arguments for and against the proposed project by Augustin Plains Ranch LLC (APR) were heard last Wednesday, Dec. 13 at the Catron County Court House in Reserve. Chieftain
Note: All legal documents related to the recent Motion for Summary Judgement are in one place, here
December 13, 2017
Office of State Engineer Hearings on
Summary Judgement Issue of the
Augustin Plains Ranch Application

1 - Opening remarks and Douglas Meiklejohn of the NM Enviromental Law Center  .mp4 or .webm

2 - Pete Domenici, Jr. for Catron County Board of County Commissioners and 5 Additional Protestants  
.mp4
or webm

3 - Jessica Aberly for Pueblo of Sandia 
.mp4 or .webm

4 - Peter Thomas White for Cuchillo Valley Community Ditch Assoc and Salomon Tafoya  .mp4 or .webm

5 - Tessa Davidson for Hand Protestants
 .mp4 or .webm

6 - Samantha Ruscavage-Bartz for Wild Earth Guardians  .mp4 or .webm

7 - Simeon Herskovits for Advocates for Community and Environment  .mp4 or .webm

8 - Jeffrey Wechsler for the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC Response .mp4 or .webm

9 - Chris Lindeen, Water Rights Division .mp4 or .webm
(Name of speaker has been corrected)

10 - Reply to APR by Douglas Meiklejohn of the NM Environmental Law Center .mp4 or .webm

11 - Reply to APR by Pete Domenici, Jr. for Catron County Board of County Commissioners and 5 Additional Protestants .mp4 or .webm

12 - Reply to APR by Tessa Davidson for Hand Protestants. .mp-4 or .webm

                       BRIEF COMMENTARY
Quick note on the assessment of the oral argument for both Motions for Summary Judgment issue matter in Reserve yesterday: Attorneys representing those protesting the APR did an outstanding job stating their case. More on the meeting and videos of the proceedings should be available early next week. Following the protestors' presentations, the APR LLC's attorney made his, and it couldn't compare.

Then it was the turn of the Water Rights Division. Be reminded that the document written by the Water Rights Division (WRD) of the Office of the State Engineer stated what looked to be an opinion in favor of the APR LLC. Chris Lindeen, attorney for the WRD, explained that the WRD document was only intended to show that the application was complete, and he went on to explain what that meant. Then, said he, the WRD was going to RECOMMEND THAT THE STATE ENGINEER DISMISS THE APPLICATION, BASED ON SPECULATION!!!!! The shock in the courtroom was palpable: you could have heard a pin drop.

There is a lot of explanation that goes with that recommendation. The State Engineer must make the final decision and we won't know what that decision is for "two or three months" according to the hearing officer. All were encouraged by what we heard today. Download


APR Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Related Documents (In date order)

September 27, 2017 -
The Community Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgment (On APR application)
Part 1 of 2
Part 2 of 2

October 4, 2017-
From the office of the State Engineer:

Partially Unopposed Motion Requesting An Extension of the Time to Fill Response (see below)

October 6, 2017 -
New OSE Documents.
Order Adopting Briefing Schedule and Order dismissing certain protestants. View both

October 10, 2017 - Update on:
Community Protestants' Response in Opposition to the APR Expedited Motion to Extend Briefing Deadlines on the ELC Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgment
And - The Community Protestants' Supplemental certificate of Service  

October 11, 2017 -
Joinder in Community Protestants'  Motion for Summary Judgment (Advocates for Community & Environment

October 13, 2017 -
Joinder - Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy Districts and NM Farm & Livestock Bureau and Catron County Farm and Livestock Bureau's....
Seeking Summary Judgment

October 13, 2017 -
Joinder by the Pueblos of San Felipe, Santa Ana, Sandia, and Isleta in the Community Protestants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment

October 16, 2017 -
WildEarth Guardians Joinder.

October 16, 2017 -
Entry of Appearance of Co-counsel for the Navajo Nation and Navajo Nation's Joinder in the Community Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

October 18, 2017 -
Catron County Commission. Three documents - :
- Notice of Joinder.(9 pages)
- Unopposed Motion for Deadline Extension

- Catron County Board of County Commissioners Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support
(32 pages)

October 20, 2017 -
A list of Parties Entitled to Notice from OSE  

October 26, 2017 -
Order (from Office of the State Engineer) Granting Extension of Time.

October 26, 2017-
Order (from Office of the State Engineer) Granting Extension of Time.

October 30, 2017 -
Document from APR attorneys Montgomery& Andrews and Draper and Draper. In the matter of the Corrected Application filed by APR LLC for Permit to Appropriate Groundwater in the Rio Grande Underground Water Basin in the State of New Mexico - Document title: Applicant's Consolidated Response in Opposition to the Environmental Law Center Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgement (62 pages)
Errata (4 pages)

Exhibits A Thru H in ZIP format

Exhibits H-1 Thru O zip format
Or, exhibits can be downloaded from the
Montgomery & Andrews website Click here)

(recommend only download 4 at a time)

November 1, 2017 -
Water Rights Division's Response to the NMELC Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgment

November 2, 2017 -
October 30, 2017 Document from APR attorneys Montgomery& Andrews and Draper and Draper. In the matter of the Corrected Application filed by APR LLC for Permit to Appropriate Groundwater in the Rio Grande Underground Water Basin in the State of New Mexico - Document title: Applicant's Consolidated Response in Opposition to the Environmental Law Center Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgement (62 pages)
Errata (4 pages)

Exhibits A Thru H in ZIP format

Exhibits H-1 Thru O zip format
Or, exhibits can be downloaded from the
Montgomery & Andrews website Click here)

(recommend only download 4 at a time)

November 6, 2017 -
From OSE: Water Rights Division Response to Catron County's Board of County Commissioners' Motion for summary Judgement.

November 8 2017 - from OSE: Response to Catron County Motion for Summary Judgment.

November 18, 2017 -
NOTICE OF HEARING - Please addend to show support -
Oral Argument for both Motions for Summary Judgment matter is scheduled to commence at 1pm on Wed, December 13, 2017, in Reserve, NM.
OSE Notice of Oral Argument

November 24, 2017 -
Catron County Board of County Commissioners' Reply in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment - From Domenici Law Firm.

November 29, 2017 - New motions:
1 - from office of Montgomery, Draper, et al - APR reply to response to the New Mexico Environmental Law center motion for Summary Judgment

2 - From Office of State Engineer - re: Applicant's Catron County Response and Hearing Examiner should have benefit of WRD protestants' and WRD response to Applicant's Catron County Response, etc

December 1, 2017 - From Advocates for Community and Environment - Joinder in the Community Protestants' Reply to the Augustin Plains Ranch's Response in Support of their Motion for Summary Judgment and Catron County Board of County Commissioners' Reply in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment.

December 4, 2017 - From the NM Enviromental Law Center: The Community Protestants' Consolidated Reply to the Augustin Plains' Ranch's Response and The Water Rights Division's Response to the Community Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

December 4, 2017 - From Wild Earth - Protestant WildEarth Guardians' Reply to Applicant's and Water Right Division's Responses to the Community Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

December 6, 2017 - from OSE - Entry of Appearance for Christopher Lindeen, OSE Litigation Unit.

December 7, 2017 - OSE Unopposed Motion for Telephone Appearance at Dec 13th hearing on behalf of NM and Catron County Farm and Livestock Bureaus.

December 12, 2017 -
Applicants Response in Opposition to the Hand Protestants' Motion to Strike

December 13, 201 7 - (3 Documents) -
From OSE - Notice regarding Protestants' Motion for Telephonic Appearance.

Entry of Appearance - Christopher D Shaw of NM Interstate Stream Commission and related: Withdrawal of Counsel - Kim Bannerman Interstate Stream
Commission
.

December 14, 2017 -
Quick note on the assessment of the oral argument for both Motions for Summary Judgment issue matter in Reserve yesterday: Attorneys representing those protesting the APR did an outstanding job stating their case. More on the meeting and videos of the proceedings should be available early next week. Following the protestors' presentations, the APR LLC's attorney made his, and it couldn't compare.

Then it was the turn of the Water Rights Division. Be reminded that the document written by the Water Rights Division (WRD) of the Office of the State Engineer stated what looked to be an opinion in favor of the APR LLC. Chris Lindeen, attorney for the WRD, explained that the WRD document was only intended to show that the application was complete, and he went on to explain what that meant. Then, said he, the WRD was going to RECOMMEND THAT THE STATE ENGINEER DISMISS THE APPLICATION, BASED ON SPECULATION!!!!! The shock in the courtroom was palpable: you could have heard a pin drop.

There is a lot of explanation that goes with that recommendation. The State Engineer must make the final decision and we won't know what that decision is for "two or three months" according to the hearing officer. All were encouraged by what we heard today. Download

December 15, 2017 -
Order memorializing the Stay of Proceeding and Denial of Protestant hand's Motion to Strike Applicant's Reply to Water r Rights Division's Response.

 

December 7, 2017 - Catron County files motion for oral argument. Chieftain

December 1, 2017 -
From Advocates for Community and Environment - Joinder in the Community Protestants' Reply to the Augustin Plains Ranch's Response in Support of their Motion for Summary Judgment and Catron County Board of County Commissioners' Reply in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment
.

November 29, 2017 - New motions:
1 - from office of Montgomery, Draper, et al - APR reply to response to the New Mexico Environmental Law center motion for Summary Judgment

2 - From Office of State Engineer - re: Applicant's Catron County Response and Hearing Examiner should have benefit of WRD protestants' and WRD response to Applicant's Catron County Response, etc

November 24, 2017 -
Catron County Board of County Commissioners' Reply in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment - From Domenici Law Firm.

November 23, 2017 -
Water fight continues with oral arguments scheduled
Chieftain

November 18, 2017 -
NOTICE OF HEARING - Please addend to show support - Oral Argument for both Motions for Summary Judgment matter is scheduled to commence at 1pm on Wed, December 13, 2017, in Reserve, NM.
OSE Notice of Oral Argument

November 17, 2017 -
Mining fossil water will leave community 'high and dry - by Carol Pittman

November 8 2017 - from OSE: Response to Catron County Motion for Summary Judgment.

November 6, 2017 -
Water Rights Division rejects protestants’ arguments . ... Another round of legal wrangling took place at the Office of the State Engineer. Chieftain

November 6, 2017 -
From OSE: Water Rights Division Response to Catron County's Board of County Commissioners' Motion for summary Judgement.

November 6, 2017-
Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources -
Hydrogologeologic Projects in New Mexico

NMBGMR Magdalena information
San Agustin Plains & Alamosa Creek Study

November 2, 2017 -
October 30, 2017 Document from APR attorneys Montgomery& Andrews and Draper and Draper. In the matter of the Corrected Application filed by APR LLC for Permit to Appropriate Groundwater in the Rio Grande Underground Water Basin in the State of New Mexico - Document title: Applicant's Consolidated Response in Opposition to the Environmental Law Center Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgement (62 pages)
Errata (4 pages)
Exhibits A Thru H in ZIP format

Exhibits H-1 Thru O zip format
Or, exhibits can be downloaded from the
Montgomery & Andrews website Click here)

(recommend only download 4 at a time)

November 1, 2017 -
Water Rights Division's Response to the NMELC Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgment

October 27, 2017 -
Sen. Pearce signs this legislation:
Congressmen push Jeff Sessions to call environmentalists terrorists. ... Four Democrats join 80 Republicans on letter asking the Attorney General to treat pipeline sabotage as domestic terrorism. ThinkProgress .

October 26, 2017-
Order (from Office of the State Engineer) Granting Extension of Time.

October 20, 2017 -
A list of Parties Entitled to Notice from OSE  

Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources -
Hydrogologeologic Projects in New Mexico
NMBGMR Magdalena information
San Agustin Plains & Alamosa Creek Study

October 18, 2017 -
Water Politics comment clipped from from NM Blogspot.  (Original article here dated October 18)  Related: August 31, 2017 - Santolina takes Another Step Forward. Abq Journal

New Mexico Governor Martinez Accused of "Wholesale Disregard of the Law" ... "Martinez is an environmental demon with this huge industrial agenda." ... Members of her administration routinely - and quite aggressively - opposed measures designed to protect our water supply. TruthOut

New Mexico Project Would Pipe Rural Groundwater 150 Miles to Big City. ... An absentee property owner aims to tap ancient groundwater for delivery to Albuquerque, but ranchers in the arid valley worry it will dry up their livelihood and the water will never return. Daily Kos or Website

Wall Street Cash Flows Into New Mexico, Despite Pay-To-Play Rule. MapLight

New Mexico Project Would Pipe Rural Groundwater 150 Miles to Big City. ... An absentee property owner aims to tap ancient groundwater for delivery to Albuquerque, but ranchers in the arid valley worry it will dry up their livelihood and the water will never return. Daily Kos or Website

Example of proposed law changes in Nevada worth reviewing:
Statutory Changes Proposed to Legislative Commission Subcommittee to Study Water

October 19, 2017 -
Water Politics comment clipped from from NM Blogspot.  (Original article here dated October 18)  Related: August 31, 2017 - Santolina takes Another Step Forward. Abq Journal

New Mexico Governor Martinez Accused of "Wholesale Disregard of the Law" ... "Martinez is an environmental demon with this huge industrial agenda." ... Members of her administration routinely - and quite aggressively - opposed measures designed to protect our water supply. TruthOut

Wall Street Cash Flows Into New Mexico, Despite Pay-To-Play Rule. MapLight

New Mexico Project Would Pipe Rural Groundwater 150 Miles to Big City. ... An absentee property owner aims to tap ancient groundwater for delivery to Albuquerque, but ranchers in the arid valley worry it will dry up their livelihood and the water will never return. News Deeply or Website

October 18, 2017 -
Catron County Commission. Three documents - :
- Notice of Joinder.(9 pages)
- Unopposed Motion for Deadline Extension
- Catron County Board of County Commissioners Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support
(32 pages)

October 16, 2017 -
WildEarth Guardians Joinder.

Entry of Appearance of Co-counsel for the Navajo Nation and Navajo Nation's Joinder in the Community Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

October 13, 2017 -
Joinder - Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy Districts and NM Farm & Livestock Bureau and Catron County Farm and Livestock Bureau's....
Seeking Summary Judgment

Joinder by the Pueblos of San Felipe, Santa Ana, Sandia, and Isleta in the Community Protestants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment

October 12, 2017 -
3 members of Interstate Stream Commission resign in 24 hours. ... The resignations of three members of the Interstate Stream Commission, including allies of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, follow the departure of several senior water policy staff members from state government in the past year. Santa Fe New Mexican

October 11, 2017 -
Joinder in Community Protestants'  Motion for Summary Judgment (Advocates for Community & Environment

Example of proposed law changes in Nevada worth reviewing:
Statutory Changes Proposed to Legislative Commission Sub-Committee to Study Water

October 10, 2017 - Update on:
Community Protestants' Response in Opposition to the APR Expedited Motion to Extend Briefing Deadlines on the ELC Protestants' Motion for Summary Judgment
And - The Community Protestants' Supplemental certificate of Service  

Connecting the Santolina dots - who gets paid off - who does the paying. Eye on Albuquerque

October 6, 2017 -
New OSE Documents.
Order Adopting Briefing Schedule and Order dismissing certain protestants. View both

Connecting the Santolina dots -Eye on Albuquerque

FYI: 1877 Desert Land Act

Related:
São Paulo - anatomy of a failing megacity: residents struggle as water taps run dry … In the first in a series looking at Brazil's largest city, Claire Rigby reports that many paulistanos are hoarding water in their apartments - and some are even drilling homemade wells - as they prepare for possible rationing.
Guardian

Basic issues on Santolina still unresolved Abq Jrnl

The scent of Santolina has now entered the mayor’s race… Contradictory politics, flip flopping, and two faced politics that have reached new depths.. We connect the dots on the political attacks on Tim Keller. Eye on Albuquerque  

October 4, 2017 -
Why does Barclays want to build a city in the middle of the New Mexico desert? ... Santolina, a planned 38,000-home mega-development on the outskirts of Albuquerque, has got local residents deeply concerned that it will suck up desperately needed water amid warnings of a future megadrought. Full story from The Guardian

October 4, 2017 -
From the office of the State Engineer:
Partially Unopposed Motion Requesting An Extension of the Time to Fill Response (see below)

The Community Protestants Motion for Summary Judgment (On APR application
Part 1 of 2    Part 2 of 2

Related links:
http://mesadelsolnm.com/ - a new development

August 16, 2018 -
Controversy Swirls Around Santolina Wat er Plan Delay (KUNM)

Stop the Santolina (FaceBook)

Santolina Master Plan (Bernalillo County website)

Contra Santolina

Related:
São Paulo - anatomy of a failing megacity: residents struggle as water taps run dry … In the first in a series looking at Brazil's largest city, Claire Rigby reports that many paulistanos are hoarding water in their apartments - and some are even drilling homemade wells - as they prepare for possible rationing. Guardian

October 2, 2017 -
Comments on the September 29, 2017, public meeting with the State Engineer.

Handouts at the meeting:
-- Instructions for Parties in State Engineer
Administrative Hearings

-- Scheduling Order

September 29, 2017 -
Partially Unopposed Motion Requesting An Extension of the Time to Fill Response (To 9/27/17 "the community pro test ants Motion for Summary Judgment" below)

September 28, 2017 - San Augustin Plains water, aquifer focus of meeting. Chieftain

September 27, 2017 -
The Community Protestants Motion for Summary Judgment (On APR application
Part 1 of 2    Part 2 of 2

September 22, 2017 -
San Augustin Plains water, aquifer focus of meeting
Chieftain

September 21, 2017 -
REMINDER: THERE IS A HEARING ON THE WATER GRAB (APR) PROJECT AT MACEY CENTER, AT NEW MEXICO TECH, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 6PM.   

PLEASE COME!!! WE NEED TO SHOW UP AND MAKE IT CLEAR THAT OUR INTERESTS ARE IMPORTANT.

The purpose of this hearing, according to the State Engineer’s Scheduling Order is “to provide information on the administrative hearing process, alternate dispute resolution, and to provide APR an opportunity, if amenable, to a description and summary of its application, and for protestants to succinctly state their positions other than those stated in the respective protest letters.”

It appears that APR will have the opportunity to make a presentation while we may be limited in who can speak and what we can say. Very, very important that we show up in large numbers!!!

View of (SEC) contract harmful? The City of Socorro’s offer to buy out Socorro Electric Cooperative is the reason behind the Co-op’s decision not to let City Administrator Donald Monette review its contract with Tri-State Energy last month. Chieftain
Related: July 2016- Tri-State presentation to SEC

September 7, 2017 -

New Mexico Project Would Pipe Rural Groundwater 150 Miles to Big City. ... An absentee property owner aims to tap ancient groundwater for delivery to Albuquerque, but ranchers in the arid valley worry it will dry up their livelihood and the water will never return.
News Deeply .pdf version

August 28, 2017 -
Rio Grande Aquifer System. Composite Hydrograph Well Location Map. USGS

August 25, 2017 -
Hydrogeology of the San Agustin Plains
by Alex Rinehart, Daniel Koning and Stacy Timmons. New Mexico Bureau of Geology. 62nd New Mexico Water Conference August 16, 2017. Download

Augusst 25, 2017
Sen. Udall speaks at water conference. Chieftain

August 17, 2017 -
Pence's Indiana 'Cautionary Tale' for Privatizing Infrastructure Projects. White House plan touts partnerships with private sector while Indiana residents navigate aftermath of roadway privatization approved by Pence, their former governor. CommonDreams

August 11, 2017 - New Mexico State Engineer Scheduling Order. issued August 10, 2017

August 4, 2017 -
Rural residents continue decade-long battle against San Augustin Ranch water project.
NM Political Report .pdf version

Related: 1994 USGS Report: Geohydrology of the San Agustin Basin, Alamosa Creek Basin upstream from Monticello Box, and upper Gila Basin in parts of Catron, Socorro, and Sierra Counties, NM. Download

Next stop for Texas-NM water dispute: Supreme Court. NM Political Report .pdf version

City (Jal, NM) gave ranch million-dollar water discount, documents show. NM Political Report .pdf version (See related articles at the bottom of the NM Political Report website)

Maps of declared groundwater basins home page - home page

Map of NM Basins (takes a few seconds to load. When done there is an outline of basins in NM)

Over view of basins in NM.

Albuquerque Journal - Boarder Aquifers
Two Nations - One Aquifer

Border Water at Risk - Border wall can’t keep groundwater from draining away
Albuquerque Journal
vittorio modena

Biggest Pump Wins - Albuquerque Journal

Mexico’s largest conglomerate profits from pipeline, Albuquerque Journal

Pipeline skips area’s poorest.
Albuquerque Journal vittorio modena

The River Pays For All of It Albuquerque Journal

'I am going to be out of water’
Albuquerque Journal
  vittorio modena

Picking up the slack in chile cultivation.
Albuquerque Journal

Video: A Race to the Bottom YouTube

July 6, 2017 -
Court Throws Out Feds’ Misguided Policy Limiting Prosecution of Killers of Endangered Wildlife. ... Late yesterday, a federal judge threw out the Department of Justice’s flawed ‘McKittrick Policy’ under which the government only prosecuted killers of animals on the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) list of imperiled species when it could prove the killer knew the exact biological identity of the species s/he was harming. The decision came as a result of a challenge brought by WildEarth Guardians and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance in 2013.

July 5, 2017 -
The new west: why Republicans blocked public land management . ... As ‘permanent tourists’ move to the western US, the oil and gas-captured Republican party is fighting to keep locals out of managing public lands. Guardian

Private Money Goes After Trump’s Public Infrastructure Projects TruthDig (Note: this is not the infrastructure list that includes the APR)

July 4, 2017 -
Water and National Security - Council on Foreign Relations Discussion Paper. Note: CFR is a neo-liberal "think tank" (sic). These are not supporters of honorable values.

June 29, 2017 -

City releases electric utility feasibility study -
Chieftain

In light of the Socorro City Council's recent release of its long awaited electric feasibility study, Mayor Ravi Bhasker issued a formal letter to the Socorro Electric Cooperative at its regular bi-monthly meeting. Chieftain

Download the full report or visit the Socorro city website. City website.

Navajo power plant likely to close despite Trump’s promises to save coal. Raw Story

Climate change is shrinking the West’s water supply ... Three new studies show dry times ahead.
High Country News  

Can private money solve public water problems?
As facilities age and public funding declines, private companies may step in.
High Country News

June 28, 2017 -
Climate change is shrinking the West's water supply. High Country News

June 26, 2017 - Hundreds file protests against water application. Chieftain

I would like to post a reminder of a meeting of the San Augustin Water Coalition (SAWC) in Datil on June 27th at 6:00pm at the Datil Baptist Church. Everyone is welcome.
Thank you, Linn Kennedy Chair
-----------------
As you are aware from the recent meeting of the San Augustin Water Coalition, well monitoring is a good idea for all of us. Monitoring will give us data that we will need to show "impairment" if the APR get their project approved (heaven forbid!). Below is a message from the folks in the East Mountains who are also fighting a water grab attempt. I thought you might like to know their take on monitoring.
Note that the Office of the State Engineer is reluctant to use the data. By joining the well-monitoring effort we become added pressure to force the OSE to pay attention.
Carol Pittman P.S. If you need another copy of the Well Monitoring flyer from NM Tech, let me know and I will send it. pittray@gilanet.com

NMT - Aquifer Mapping Program
Well monitoring brochure
North 14 Deep Well Protest (E. Mountains)

June 26, 2017 -

Hundreds file protests against water application.
Chieftain

I would like to post a reminder of a meeting of the San Augustin Water Coalition (SAWC) in Datil on June 27th at 6:00pm at the Datil Baptist Church. Everyone is welcome.
Thank you, Linn Kennedy Chair
-----------------
As you are aware from the recent meeting of the San Augustin Water Coalition, well monitoring is a good idea for all of us. Monitoring will give us data that we will need to show "impairment" if the APR get their project approved (heaven forbid!). Below is a message from the folks in the East Mountains who are also fighting a water grab attempt. I thought you might like to know their take on monitoring. Note that the Office of the State Engineer is reluctant to use the data. By joining the well-monitoring effort we become added pressure to force the OSE to pay attention.
Carol Pittman P.S. If you need another copy of the Well Monitoring flyer from NM Tech, let me know and I will send it. pittray@gilanet.com

From the Deep Well Project: -
Sara Chudnoff was with Bernalillo County, hired by Dan McGregor to expand the well monitoring program here - and expand it she did. She is great to work with and I'm really glad she will be putting together a well monitoring program around the state. Here, she expanded the program to 200 wells, which are monitored at least twice a year using proper methods. And that program has documented a reduction in water levels all over the area of about 2 feet per year - a number which should qualify us for being a Critical Management area, according to the Morrison Criteria.

In any case, I hope many people in your area will get their wells monitored - it's really good data to have (although we find that the OSE is still reluctant to use the data. They would rather use well drilling data, which may be very old and is certainly from a wide variety of dates. Janet Winchester Silbaugh. Download this announcement

NMT - Aquifer Mapping Program
Well monitoring brochure
North 14 Deep Well Protest (E. Mountains)

The schedule hearing on July 19, 2017 at the Office of State Engineer re: APR, has been postponed.

Border Water at Risk - Report on aquifers along the US/Mexico Border. Albuquerque Journal
or Download the report

Building on Regional Trend, Reading, Pa. Passes Anti-Privatization Measure. Food & Water Watch.

June 25, 2017 -
Border Water at Risk - Albuquerque Journal

June 21, 2017 -
How privatization could spell the end of democracy. ... Between Trump and tech, never before have so many powerful people been so intent on transforming government into a business. Guardian

Neoliberalism turned our world into a business. And there are two big winners. ... Fearmongering Donald Trump and optimistic Silicon Valley seem to epitomize opposing ideologies. But the two have far more in common than you think. Guardian

June 9, 2017 - Congressional Progressive Caucus white paper on "21 Century New Deal for Jobs" including concerns regarding infrastructure. Download

Proposed House Bill by Juan Lujan: "To rebuild and modernize the Nation’s infrastructure to expand access to broadband internet, rehabilitate drinking water infrastructure, modernize the electric grid and energy supply infrastructure, redevelop brownfields, strengthen health care infrastructure, create jobs, protect public health and the environment, and for other purposes"
Download

June 14, 2017 - Important:
Update on the 500 Infrastructure Project list (initially 50), one of which was the APR (See below for details) ...
Rob MacGregor, Legislative Director, office of Steve Pearce (NM-02) contacted the white house and the list is “not something from the White House and not something we support.”.

Download the story and NM projects list

June 13, 2017 -
Notice of Withdraw of Counsel and Contract Information for Protestant Double H Ranch ProSe - AND - Notice of Withdraw of Counsel for Santa Tereceta Ranch

May 11, 2017 -
Herrera: Local politics tarnishing (electric) cooperative's efforts. ... The proposed breakup of Socorro Electric Cooperative seemed to be gaining steam, as evidenced by remarks made at a public meeting Tuesday, May 2 at Socorro City Hall. Chieftain

Socorro effort (offer utility service) feasible in small steps. ... A piecemeal plan for the City of Socorro to offer electric utility service is feasible, the attorney helping the city explore the option said last week. ... “It’s feasible if the city starts small and builds up equity over time,” attorney Nann Winter said. Chieftain

march 21, 2017
'This is our land': New Mexico's tribal groups gear up to fight for their home. ... President Trump’s decision to review the designations of 27 national monuments has raised fears of a corporate giveaway – and the pueblos of the Rio Grande valley are worried. ... New Mexico’s Republican congressional representative Steve Pearce has proposed reducing the 490,000-acre Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks national monument to 54,800 acres, and described Obama’s expansion of the national monuments as an abuse of power.  Guardian  

march 21, 2017
Note: Recollect the issue of local military intrusion on our lands ...

The City and the War Machine: Crosshairs on People and Public Lands. ... In the 1990s, a battle raged over military use of the Owyhee Canyonlands of Idaho, Oregon and Nevada. The aggressor was the state of Idaho under Gov. Cecil Andrus, fronting for the Air Force. Cece, who had been Interior Secretary under Jimmy Carter, was hell bent on a new Bombing Range amid some of the most remote country in the lower 48 states. Counter Punch

April 29, 2017, Water Coalition Meeting Commentary.

San Augustin Water Coalition Annual Meeting Videos:
Presentation by Stacy Timmons, Aquifer Mapping Program Manager:
Video 1 of 3.mp4
Video 2 of 3.mp4
Video 3 of 3.mp4
Our State Rep. Gail Armstrong Speaking:
Video 1 of 2.mp4
Video 2 of 2.mp4

march 21, 2017
Water group briefed on Augustin Plains Ranch. ... The application for a permit to pump 17 billion gallons of water per year from the San Agustin Plains aquifer under Socorro and Catron counties was the topic of discussion last Saturday at a meeting of the San Augustin Water Coalition. Chieftain

State Engineer Docketing Order - Hearing No.17-005.pdf
Note: Pre-hearing scheduling conference tentatively scheduled for July 19, 2017. Details later. POSTPONED as of late June, 2017

Related:The New Mexico Environmental Law Center Hereby Enters its Appearance in this Proceeding on Behalf of Protestants Identified Below...
Entry of Appearance list May 3, 2017.pdf

May 3, 2017-
OSE Docketing Order Hearing 17-005

May 1, 2017 -
The Aquifer Mapping Program at New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR) is working with New Mexico Rural Water Association (NMRWA) to establish a rural groundwater level monitoring network.
Collaborative Groundwater Monitoring Network  

May 1, 2017 - NOTICE:
Socorro and Catron county folks might be interested in an upcoming Community Input Meeting Socorro City will be hosting on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 5:30 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 111 School of Mines Road. Click here for the website.
-City Meeting Agenda

April 29, 2017 Water Coalition Commentary.
San Augustin Water Coalition Annual Meeting Videos:
Presentation by Stacy Timmons, Aquifer Mapping Program Manager:
Video 1 of 3.mp4
Video 2 of 3.mp4
Video 3 of 3.mp4
Our State Rep. Gail Armstrong Speaking:
Video 1 of 2.mp4
Video 2 of 2.mp4

April 27, 2017 - Why Water Privatization Is a Bad Idea for People and the Planet. ... As climate change drives water scarcity, there may be more efforts to privatize water systems. AlterNet

"Superman Is Not Coming": Erin Brockovich on the Future of Water. Truth Out

Water Coalition Annual Meeting April 29th :- Datil Elementary at 1PM. Representative Gail Armstrong will be a speaker at the meeting

Latest legislative update at San Augustin Water Report Website

April 12, 2017 -
Global Groundwater Use Is Exhausting Supplies So Fast, It Could Soon Drive Up Food Prices ... China, the world’s most populous country, doubled within just 10 years its use of irreplaceable groundwater from underground reservoirs that are replenished more slowly than they are drained.
TruthDig  

April 6, 2017 -
Legislative update from N.M. Wilderness Alliance:

Senate Bill 340, which would require legislature approval and a showing of feasibility before money is spent on large diversion projects like the one proposed for the Gila river, was passed by the Senate Conservation Committee but was tabled (and dead for the Session) by the Senate Finance Committee. We expect this bill to be reintroduced in future Sessions. More updates, download
Or go to NM Wilderness Alliance website  

March 27, 2017 - Letter from Senator Heinrich to US IN terrior re: Interrior removing APR form their "protest" to the project. Download here    Related: The Plains of San Agustin have been designated a “Most Endangered Place” by the New Mexico Heritage, Preservation Alliance, a statewide, private, nonprofit historic preservation organization. Download here

This orginaztion supports the fight against the water grab: Southwest Research and Information Center - MISSION: Southwest Research and Information Center is a multi-cultural organization working to promote the health of people and communities, protect natural resources, ensure citizen participation, and secure environmental and social justice now and for future generations

March 26, 2017 - You Decide...Interbasin water transfers are they needed? If a land owner who has a large ranch decides that he can make more money by selling the water under his land than he can by raising cattle on
that land should he have the right to do so?
Download Commentary from Dennis Inman, Geologist.

March 22, 2017 -
The 2017 Legislative session is over, and you might like to know about what directly affected us. As you are all probably aware by now, Don Tripp was re-elected in November, 2016 but abruptly resigned in January of 2017. The Governor appointed Gail Armstrong in his place. Gail immediately went to bat for us, and here's how.

1) Sponsored HB 418, Inter-Basin Water Right Transfer Requirements. This bill, which passed several committees and made it to the floor of the House of Representatives, would have regulated massive water transfers had it become law. Howard Hutchinson worked with Rep. Armstrong as did Douglas Meiklejohn, our attorney, and they will continue working on a bill to be brought before a new session of the Legislature.

2) Opposed HB 275 Public-Private Partnerships Act. Although a brand new legislator, Rep. Armstrong voted against this act because her constituents opposed it. If you remember, this P3 Act would have greatly benefited the Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC which has been pushing their public-private partnership idea from day one. (See their website http://sanaugustinwater.com/partnership.html ) It took a great deal of courage for Rep. Armstrong to oppose this bill, and we owe her a debt of gratitude.

A note of interest:
Representative Gail Armstrong will be a speaker at the April annual meeting of the San Augustin Water Coalition. Mark April 29 on your calendar and plan to be at that meeting.

Other matters before the Legislature included a bill sponsored by our Senator Howie Morales. SB 340 would have, had it become law, provided oversight of the federal funds the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) has been spending on a diversion of the Gila River. Below is an analysis of what the law would do.

"SB340 would require legislatively approved budgets for use of the NM Unit Fund and force the ISC to report the details of its actual and planned uses of the fund. To date, the ISC has spent $11 million fruitlessly in the absence of real legislative budget oversight. The ISC needs to provide basic information on technical feasibility, water yield and associated water users, project cost and financing before spending more money on a NM Unit project."

Sadly this measure failed, but we can hope that the ISC got the message: squandering millions of dollars is not acceptable. Carol Pittman. Download March 22 update

March 21, 2017 - New Mexico Lobbyists report spending nearly $292K during session. New Mexico In Depth

March 19, 2017 -
Report From Santa Fe - KNEW - Laura Paskus and Peggy Johnson on WATER in NM Video

 

March 15, 2017 - Congressman Steve Pearce is hosting a Town Hall for constituents of New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District.

When: Saturday March 18, 2017 at 12:00 PM MST
Where: New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum
Download information and questions to ask Pearce

March 9, 2017 -
Magdalena school board amends water grab protest... At the regularly scheduled Feb. 13 meeting the board had discussed in executive session withdrawing a letter filed with the Office of the State Engineer protesting the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC planned project to pump water from the San Augustin aquifer. Chieftain  

Bill HB 418, (Water Transfers) was not heard in Committee yesterday as scheduled - update on this later.

March 3, 2017 - New Documents related to Agustain Plains area and Magdalena water:

Magdalena - The day the water dried: (Updated April 2014) A hydrogeologic perspective.  



March 2, 2017 -
How much water does New Mexico actually have? ... When it comes to revising water laws in New Mexico, nothing realistic can be done until we know how much — and where — the groundwater is.. Chieftain  

March 1, 2017 -
Update to the House Bills below:

Webcast of hearings click here  
Status of HB418 .. Substitute Bill HB 418:
Added sections....para 3 (e)...and Para F
(3) temporary transfers of no longer than two
years.

F. For the purposes of this section:
(1) "area of origin" means the physical
location of a ground water aquifer, the boundaries of which are reasonably ascertainable and which may or may not coincide with the administrative boundaries of ground water basins established by the state engineer; and

(2) "transfer" means the transport of water for use in a location more than thirty-five miles from the area

Report: Inter-basin Water Transfers: "Upon initial consideration, interbasin transfer of water has enormous appeal. Indeed, many of the regional water plans offer vague references to receiving water from adjacent basins. However, a more thorough examination reveals that there are often few details to support these transfers..” ... Report by Professor Bruce Thomson, Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico. 2010-Inter-basin Water Transfers  

HB 418, a bill that will be heard TOMORROW (Thursday, March 2, 1:30pm) March 3 - UPDATE: Bill as not heard in committee March 2nd. in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee. This bill will put into place regulations regarding WATER TRANSFERS, regulations that are long overdue.

Let the Chairman and/or Committee member Candy Ezzell know your thoughts on this bill.

Chairman Matthew McQueen
matthew.mcqueen@nmlegis.gov
505-986-4421

Member Candy Ezzell
csecows@aol.com
575-625-0550

Full list of Committee Members

More information on HB-418:
Introduced by Gail Armstrong:
Relating to water; requiring additional requirements for approval of permits for the diversion and use of ground water from the basin of origin for use outside the basin of origin. See bill here or download

March 1, 2017 -
HB-472- SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
Legislative Staff Assessment:
According to OSE analysis, prohibiting federal land management agencies from owning surface water rights for livestock watering could have significant negative unintended consequences ...
HB-472-Staff Assessment - full report

February 27, 2017 -
The bill for public/private partnerships – HB 275 – was just defeated in committee. Gail Armstrong, our representative, voted against the bill. She explained that while she liked the bill, her constituents had serious concerns about it and she voted for their concerns – against the bill. Please take the time to thank her. gail@gailfornewmexico.com or call 505-986-4467. You might also mention your support or opposition to the bills below at the same time.


Vote just finished. Meeting adjourned

Other legislation of concern for this area:

HB-380 - Introduced by our Rep. Gail Armstrong:
Relating to Rural Electric cooperatives; Allowing mail-in or proxy ballots to count toward establishing a quorum.
Download the bill or
visit NM government website here for more details.
Readers may remember this was a critical issue at the recent co-op annual meetings as the board tried to disqualify voters.


HB-472: Relating to water rights administration: providing definitions; limiting livestock water rights holders; prohibiting the state engineer from enforcing or administering conditions placed on permitted land to require transfer of private water rights to a government land management agency excepting sales of water rights; exempting livestock water rights from forfeiture where the right is appurtenant to land under a current lease or permit.
Download the bill or
visit NM government website here for more details:
We will have more on this legislation after it is reviewed.

A good source of on-going information on what is happening in SF is at The Candle

February 24, 2017 -
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships ...
This being the age of public relations, the genteel term “public-private partnership” is used instead of corporate plunder. A “partnership” such deals may be, but it isn’t the public who gets the benefits. ... Public-private partnerships are nothing more than a variation on straightforward schemes to sell off public assets below cost, with working people having to pay more for reduced quality of service. CounterPunch   Or Download


References:
- May 10, 2013 -

Financialising Household Water
(UK Report)  
-
November 23, 2016 -
Economic Policy Inst. on Trump Infrastructure Plan.

Food and Water Watch Reports:
- July 2011- Water=Life: How Privatization undermines the Human right to Water.
- Water Privatization: Facts and Figures  
- 2016 Report on State of Public Water in the U.S.
- 2010 Report - Brief on Water P3 Issues & Difficulties

February 22, 2017 -
US EPA Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center National Governors Association State Planning Retreat on Public Private Partnerships.
April 2016 Report

February 19, 2017 -

You Had Me At H2O: A look at who owns your water supply ... Get curious about how your water gets to you, before private companies pull the plug. MuchRock  

America can’t trust public water, so it’s turning to private companies. - While most Americans don’t have to think too hard about whether their water is safe to drink or not, people in Camden, New Jersey are used to not having clean water
 Quartz  

From the BLM:
Improving the Way We Plan Together
As part of our continuing commitment to improve our management of the nation’s public lands, the Bureau of Land Management is reviewing the way we develop and update our Resource Management Plans (RMPs).

This initiative, known as Planning 2.0, aims to increase public involvement and incorporate the most current data and technology into our land use planning.
BLM Plan 2.0 presentation 
Plan 2.0 FAQ sheet

Cynic Comment: Under the current administration BLM efforts could be negatively revised by using an esoteric Congressional procedure to sabotage BLM efforts.

February 17, 2017 -
We are still tracking HB 275, the Public/Private Partnership bill. Sadly, the House Transportation, Public Works and Capital Improvements Committee recommended a Do Pass, a big setback for us.

Next in line is a hearing at the House Labor and Economic Development Committee. OUR REPRESENTATIVE, GAIL ARMSTRONG, IS ON THAT COMMITTEE. You can do one quick thing: phone Representative Armstrong’s office and ask that she vote NO on HB 275. Her phone number is 505-269-2364. I usually call very early and leave a message. It is our numbers that matter, so the more people who call the better. It will take about 30 seconds!

Gail Armstrong website

February 15, 2017 -
From Conservation Voter of New Mexico -
Public-Private Partnerships (HB 275) seeks to give private companies control of New Mexico's critical public services - including our water.

A dangerous bill that could put your critical public services, like water, has again been introduced in the State House. ... Last seen in 2015, Public-Private Partnerships (now HB 275, Larrañaga/Cisneros) is a sweeping measure that would privatize projects that are most appropriately developed and maintained by public entities. In 2015, you raised your voice and we were able to stop the bill. Together, we can do it again.

HB 275 first, and it has powerful support in the legislature. If you speak up now, we can stop this dangerous "blank check" legislation in its tracks.
Public-private partnership, or P3, is a catch-all term for any project that partners government with private business. Generally speaking, the more heavily the private sector is involved, the riskier the project is for the public - in financial, social and environmental terms. Examples from across the country and right here in New Mexico have proven the need to take a very cautious approach to P3s.

Private companies are pushing hard to expand P3s in our state. HB 275 is one of the broadest, if not the broadest, pieces of P3 legislation in the country.

Follow this link to CVNM Action center and send your representative a message

Download this action alert  

February 15, 2017 -
This bulletin came in too late to be effective, but never-the-less... Rep. Pearce is having a call-in Town Hall TODAY. If you can't make the call, please email him ... he's in the process of giving away public lands. .
Signup website click here
Pearce Town Hall Bulletin  .

February 12, 2017 -
Draft of memo from From:
AFSCME, AFT, NM Building Trades Council (15 affiliated unions), CVNM, CWA, Food & Water Watch, NEA-NM, NM Environmental Law Center, NM Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO), Sierra Club, and Voices for Children.
To: NM Legislation
Re: Please OPPOSE House Bill 275 (Allowing Privatization of all Public Services and Infrastructure) and SUPPORT Senate Bill 143 (Narrower Public Private Partnership bill)
. 021317-AFSCME Memo

February 11, 2017 -
A cautionary tale from 2012:
How the Private Water Industry Is Teaming Up With ALEC ... ALEC has worked with the energy industry to create loophole-filled water protections and opposes federal oversight of fracking.  AlterNet

Profiting from Public Dollars: How ALEC and Its Members Promote Privatization of Government Services and Assets. Public Interest  

ALEC -The Water/Wastewater Utility Public-Private Partnership Act. (This is where your NM representatives get the text of P3 legislation)
ALEC-Sample Legislation

February 11, 2017 -
California water venture tied to Trump sees prospects rise after years of setbacks. ... Until Trump won the presidency, prospects looked bleak for Cadiz, a California company that has struggled for years to secure federal permits to transform Mojave Desert groundwater into liquid gold.
McClatchyDC
 
NB: the above article references the infamous "Emergency Infrastructure" list of critical projects in the 2nd paragraph (see January 27th commentary below). This is an example of very bad reporting using a fake list to generate an "exclusive".Always follow the money.

February 10, 2017 -
Quick note on legislation that requires fast action in the form of a call or email to Santa Fe to make sure all of the following 5 Democrats are all present to vote against HB275  . (See below for more information) The main talking point about HB 275 is that it allows for privatization of virtually everything in government, including schools, water utilities, solid waste, waste water, watersheds, habitat restoration, and everything else done by state and local government. It's by far the broadest bill in America, and is terrible for any number of reasons (each activist group here will have their own reasons for not wanting to privatize government). The Legislature should appoint a commission to review all P3 bills and that commission should report to the Legislature. We need to emphasize that the lack of adequate oversight is enough by itself to defeat the bill. In addition, all reference to water projects should be removed.
These are the critical representatives: .

Chairman Bobby Gonzales (D-Taos)
roberto.gonzales@nmlegis.gov 505-986-4333

Vice Chair Moe Maestas (D-West side ABQ)
antonio.maestas@nmlegis.gov 505-986-4438

Patty Lundstrom (D-Gallup)
patricia.lundstrom@nmlegis.gov 505-986-4316

Harry Garcia (D-Grants)
hgarciad69@gmail.com 505-986-4433 (note: shared phone with Ruiloba)

Pat Ruiloba (D-Albuquerque)
patricio.ruiloba@nmlegis.gov 505-986-4433

ALEC is the source of this legislation. Through ALEC, global corporations are scheming to rewrite your rights and boost their revenue. Alec Exposed

There are several articles about P3's on this website. Note, Larry Larrañaga was at one time on the ALEC Federalism and International Relations Task force, but no longer listed. A search for Larrañaga in the search field above will link to stories that include him. NM representative on ALEC is Rep. Yvette Herrell

February 9, 2017 -
The Problems With Water Supply and Demand:
A disconnect between water supply and demand will always exist. The reason is that every time more water is made available to a community or state it creates an instant invitation to increase demand by way of development. Before long there is more demand for water than what was being made available. Our economic system demands that growth is essential if we are to prosper. Water is becoming like fiat money we continue to think there is more available and seem to think that if we use it up more will be found elsewhere. We never admit that there is not enough water until the well or spigot goes dry. In other words we do not live within our means. Read the rest of the commentary here  

February 7, 2017 - New found Resources:
* NM Drinking Water Allocation Program (WRAP)
OSE web page
* Who owns water. Water rights in the SW States. Published 2003 by Brian H Hurd - NM State University.
Who owns water in the SW.
* 2009 Overview of NM Ground Water Code.
Brockman Ground Water conference paper .
* 1962 - NM water law since 1955 - Clark   
* Office of State Eng. Glossary of water terms  

February 6, 2017 -
Support Reform of the (Interstate Stream Commission. This information came too late to call your the rules committee members today, but send your rep and e-mail or call will at least let them know they are being watched. (Rules Committee list)  

Today it is important to tell Senate Rules Members to Vote YES on SB157!   SB157 Analysis:   
SB157 Bill  

Senator Peter Wirth has introduced legislation (SB157) that would reform membership of the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC), the state agency charged with "developing New Mexico's waters including both interstate and intrastate stream systems."

The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee (Room 321) on Monday, February 6 at 8 am.

The bill is designed to bring objectivity and science, and less political partisanship, into New Mexico's water management decisions. The ISC has responsibility for state and regional water planning and the technically infeasible and unaffordable Gila River diversion project among many others.

ISC appointments would be shared equally between the Governor's office and legislature. The bill requires an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, two water-related technical experts from either UNM or NMSU, and representation by the variety of interests that have a stake in how water is managed, including a representative from a non-governmental conservation advocacy organization.

Please contact members of the Senate Rules Committee and ask them to vote YES on SB157.

NM Interstate Sream Commission (OSE) website  
The February 6, 2017 - news item  

February 4, 2017 -
Below is a copy of form letter from the Office of The State Engineer. Re: The Application by APR, OSE file RG89943.  It includes a copy of the "request to docket application". There were 604 "timely" Protestants. A list of all Protestants was included in the original, but not part of this file. Those listed will recive the complete document.
OSE File: RG-89943 and associated notices dated February 2, 2017   What all this means will be discussed soon.

The SB 86 - requires the State Engineer to put notices on-line. NM Gov website or Download  

February 3, 2017 -
Why is EPA chief Gina McCarthy speaking at a conference full of private water company execs?

December 2016 article on Grist  

February 1, 2017 -
UPDA TE ON THE P3 LEGISLATION...

Fiscal impact Report - NM Infrastructure
Investment Act
.

In HB 275, Section 2- H(1)(n) under definitions of a public project (page 4 of the bill) seems to fit the APR plan. HB275   It will also be important to see if some of the language in HB 275 ends up in the broadband bill in a back-door type of move as this process progresses.

Food and Water Watch here in New Mexico is also an ally opposing the P3 legislation. Below is an analysis by Food and Water Watch of the President’s proposal to privatize water and sewer systems. We need to continue watching the President’s short list of infrastructure projects to be funded. (That may be a fake) To that end we have some help from a friend in DC, and I’ll keep you posted.

Trump Attacks the Safety of Our Drinking Water - Trump’s war on the EPA endangers our drinking water. His plans to gut the agency would sacrifice key programs that support and protect our public water supplies.
Democrat Plan for Infrastructure  
Trump's infrastructure plan (Mentions APR. Not White House approved, probably a fake)

AFSCME Public services union is also watching P3 legislation in New Mexico.

January 28, 2017 -
There is a report floating around called the "Emergency & National Security Projects", (link below) in which APR is listed as one of 50 top national security projects.

Other projects in the report are massive and the patronage of the government.

Download the document here

Does it sound reasonable the Federal Government would be interested in a relatively small and very isolated private project?  Probably not, but it would be good to know how the APR ended up on the report.

What we know so far…

The story, originated with McClatchy DC, which is part of wider network of journalists who work in 14 states and 29 communities. Read the original story here   Trump team compiles infrastructure priority list

The Albuquerque Journal picked up the story and on investigation pulled it, saying .. "The original post on abqjournal.com was removed late Tuesday night after a Politico Pro report questioned the document's authenticity." ... The Journal called the White House: "It is not a White House policy document", White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in an email ... responding to a Journal request for comment.

The Journal story is an important read to understand the sequence of events and latest information:
WH disavows infrastructure priorities document

McClatched followed up on the story with:
List of 50 infrastructure projects used by Trump transition team came from consulting firm  

PolitocoPro, mentioned above, may have originated the story and document, then backed off. As to PoliticoPro's reliability as a source of real news note that US Dept of Education wanted to buy a subscription to Politco Pro but did not....price tag too high and seemed to be based on "whatever the traffic would bear."

The complete story above for download


January 18, 2017 -
Water just like air is critical to our existence; we can’t live without it. Good potable groundwater is a quality of life essential. As a commodity its value varies with its
scarceness. Water laws governing water varies from state to state and country to country. People fight over water, states fight over water, and countries fight over water. Generally the rule for groundwater is that it is a defacto property right, if located under your land. In New Mexico the state controls groundwater through a permitting system by regulating the amount of withdrawal. However, if there are too many landowners vying for a limited amount of water the water is apportioned by need or a water master. So by its scarcity it has become more valuable. ...
Continue reading or Download the article 

January 17, 2017 -
Severance compensation -
This is not royalties that go to the State to compensate for using the States oil and gas resources.

Who does it go to?

How is it going to help the people who no longer have water?

Why is okay to takes one’s livelihood away so others can benefit at their expense?

Is the collapse of a community justifiable so that others can profit from a taking of a water resource?

Why would the State Engineer consider this course of action a way forward in granting this application?

Water is not equivalent to oil and gas as it is already is being put to a beneficial use and has senior rights
to its use over the junior rights of the LLC.

(More on this later - See January 18, 2017 above, What is Water Worth?) Download the above

January 17, 2017-
SENATE BILL 86 ... 2017 -
AN ACT Relating to water Rights Notifications, Requiring the Office of the State engineer to Post Notices On-line. Download SB86 Bill    NM Legislature Link  

January 17, 2017 -
NM Legislation 2017 - - HOUSE MEMORIAL 1 -
A MEMORIAL
Requesting the Interstate Stream Commission to Convene a Task Force to Make recommendations to Correct Deficiencies in State and Regional Water Planning Programs and Processes. Full Bill Here
NM Legislation original weblink.

January 2017 -
OP-ED: Douglas Meiklejohn / The New Mexico Environmental Law Center’s Top Ten Environmental Issues to Watch in 2017. ... Trump and Martínez: A Double Whammy for New Mexico’s Environment and Communities.

Related:
August 15, 2015 - Analysis: Weaknesses mar NM’s capital outlay system.   Click here

January 13, 2017 -
NM State Engineer: “You know, do we need to be looking at something like a severance tax on that water?”

Is an elaborate proposal to pump thousands of acre feet of water 150 miles to Albuquerque .... from the Augustin Plains Ranch (APR) in Catron and Socorro counties about to trigger a new policy for large scale water sales in New Mexico, treating water like oil and gas – including severance compensation as a political sweetener for such a deal?  The Candle Publishing  

January 12, 2016 -
Dean: Not enough water for permit (Chieftain)  

November 6, 2014.
Supreme Court Side-Steps Water Grab Issue.  


October 24, 2014 - NM Supreme court won't stop massive water project

August 17, 2016 - Public notice ordered for APR
water plan. 

September 2, 2016 - Project that could bring water to Westside a test of private vs. public development  

January 13, 2017 -
NM State Engineer: “You know, do we need to be looking at something like a severance tax on that water?”

Is an elaborate proposal to pump thousands of acre feet of water 150 miles to Albuquerque .... from the Augustin Plains Ranch (APR) in Catron and Socorro counties about to trigger a new policy for large scale water sales in New Mexico, treating water like oil and gas – including severance compensation as a political sweetener for such a deal?  The Candle Publishing  

January 10, 2017 -
No Right to Free Water, Except for Nestlé. ... ormer Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck is famous for denying that access to drinking water is a human right. But based on the company’s actions, its management seems to believe that Nestlé Corporation has a human right to free water.
 CounterPunch  

January 9, 2017 - Whose water is it?

When you apply for a water right or a permit for a well from the State of New Mexico, it is assumed that there is water available for diversion. If there are no other wells or surface diversions in your vicinity then there will not be a likelihood of a protest. However, if there are other diversions close to your proposed diversion, those diversions would have prior existing rights over your application. You would have to state how you are going to put this water to a beneficial use. The State Engineer would then evaluate your application to see if it meets the required standards for a permit to drill.

If you knew that the existing wells in your area were shallow and you wanted to put in a deeper well to ensure that you got all the water that was granted under your application, the neighboring well owners could challenge your application stating that you would be impairing their water right of prior appropriation and the fact that you could be over drafting the common aquifer and cause their well or wells to go dry. The State Engineer could respond, 'that their wells are not going to be impaired and that those wells could always be drilled deeper'. This concept is a result of the Tom Morrison paper "Guidelines for the Assessment of Drawdown Estimates" Feb. 2006. Of course this could be a remedy; if it did not create a financial burden on the owners of the prior existing water rights. What if the existing wells were only about 200 feet deep and your well is 2,000 feet deep? Would a 1,500 foot difference in depths be considered impairment? This is a major difference and could cost the original water right holders many hundreds of thousands of dollars to just compete with your well. Isn't this also considered a type of impairment "financial in nature"?

The problem is that water generally flows down gradient, so that the water you are pumping that lies under your property; when pumped long enough and at much lower depth will cause the adjacent landowners water to flow toward your well over time. This gradient flow is the result of the cone of depression created at your well point. The bottom line is that you are mining your neighbor's water. If this occurred in the oil patch , a law suit would follow claiming a taking and you would have to pay for the oil you should not have pumped along with damages. It is too bad that this does not apply to water, a taking is a taking. So the question arises as to whose water is it?

In New Mexico the water belongs to the state and you have permission under the permit system to only pump what you have been allocated under that permit. If you do not use the water that has been allocated the state can reduce your allocation to reflect what you are actually using. This practice is very common when a watershed or an area under goes adjudication. Adjudication is where all the water users in an area undergoing adjudication have their water use history researched and if the people cannot verify their water use they may wind up having their amount of water use reduced. This may seem harsh but once the water has been adjudicated the amount of water granted is yours in perpetuity.

So if the water in the state is the state's water do whatever they wish with it; except where there are water compacts with other state's that they otherwise obligated to comply with. Can the state just give it away to the highest bidder or to people that know how to play the political game of saying that the water is to be used for the greater good of the state's residents. This is the case where there are winners and there are losers. In most cases the losers are residents in the rural areas of the state. This is the case where a major development in the Albuquerque area (Santolina Project) that is proposed but not yet approved, is trying to get water from the San Augustin Plains at the expense of the residents that live there.

Well again I come back to whose water is it? If you remember that, “water is life, if you control the one you control the other.” So water is a political pawn that is played with by the rich and influential to their financial gain and the end user is non-consequential.
Dennis Inman - Geologist - Download the comment

REF:
-
Guidelines for the Assessment of Drawdown
Estimates

- Basic Groundwater Hydrology and Evaluation Porcedures - Training Manual


January 5, 2017 -
Trump's infrastructure plans will hamper access to clean water. ... Since Donald Trump unveiled his infrastructure plan, many have written that it should be called a privatization plan, and rightly so. The Hill  

December 30, 2016 - ALEC's Little Brother, ACCE, Has Big Plans for 2017 - Influencing local government  
TruthOut  

December 19, 2016 -
Intent of the Office of the State Engineer -  
What is the intent of the Office of the State Engineer when it comes to dealing with large water withdrawals from one basin to another (inter-basin transfers)?
Commentary by Dennis Inman - Geologist

Indian Power - New Mexico tribes catapult into politics and join the state's water tug-of-war.  (April 2003)
High Country News 

December 7, 2017 -
Two books that may be of interest re: APR issue …
Land Grants & Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico by Malcolm Ebright, 2008 edition
(Southwest books - Center for land grant studies

Land, Water & Culture: New Perspectives on Hispanic Land Grants, - Briggs, 1987 (Amazon link)

Below are several pertinent articles reference in the Ebright work, from the Journal of the Southwest, Autumn, 1990. They go with this excerpt....

Generally, ancient Hispanic practices as to the location and boundaries of land grants, water rights, do not conform and have not conformed to Anglo-American standards for legal descriptions...as a result...
Absolute title with the right to sell water is an Anglo concept imposed on New Mexico water users fairly recently, and like the imposition of a partition suit, it will inevitably lead to the loss of water rights, just as the partition suit resulted in the loss of common lands. Communal control of irrigation water by acequia associations has helped the communities that use those resources to survive, but with privatization both water rights and the communities themselves are in jeopardy...." - Frances Levine in "Dividing the Water,"

Attached are the full text of articles from the Autumn issue of Journal of the Southwest that may be of use giving some legal and common law background behind some of these water fights....
Dividing the water.pdf
Dancing for Water.pdf
Acequia Rights Law and Tradition.pdf

The entire Autumn, 1990 issue of Journal of the Southwest was devoted to Water Rights in New Mexico. (Three examples below) Of course, there are many other studies, some more recent, but the back-grounding in the issues were adjudicated in the courts of the last 60-70 years....

Land, Water, and Pueblo-Hispanic Relations in Northern New Mexico - Autumn 1990 -Quantana  

Applied Research on Land and Water in New Mexico: A Critique - Autumn 1900 - Rodriguez   

"A Never-ending source of Water: Agriculture, Society, and Aquifer Deletion on the Coast of Hermosillo, Snorooa - Winter 2012 - Moreno   

In researching the subject documents it's important to make a distinction between water law, water rights, surface water and groundwater.

The term acquifer[s] is not useful because most of the hydrological studies that refer to acquifers do so in terms of groundwater vs. surface water. There is an additional problem because while everyone knows that surface waters are related to rivers and groundwater basins, the knowledge of groundwater.

Sources are often highly technical in its exact relationship. Claims about recharging groundwater resources periodically, or about depleting such resources … torture the definitions of water rights on the surface and their relationship to groundwater basins and the connection of those groundwater resources to flowing rivers. The geologic fact of the course of the Rio Grande through New Mexico has also made arguments about urban growth and water resource management highly political....and stretched the concepts around common lands and resources.... 2 articles below are representative about the issues and case law
Of course the APR issue is "privatization" of something underground that can be attached or sold off like a separate mineral resource and detached from or attached to the concept of private property. That may mean that they can put the resource into a deed of conveyance, but the issue of adjudicating the true ownership of the same resource in a court of law is often technical and highly flawed when it comes to politicians, judges, and state agencies such as the New Mexico State Engineer....having been captured by corporate interests....

The issues about whether the community, smaller or larger, has rights to manage the use of groundwater resources have not recently been accorded priority when stood up against private property concepts.

From the Chicago-Kent College of Law Scholarly Commons @ IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law ...
Water Supply and Urban Growth in NM - Same old same old, or a new era - March 1, 2003
 

Transboundary Aquifers: Conceptual Models for Development of International Law - Ground Water 43 No.5 – Eckstein

The commentary above can be downloaded here  

References:
Journal of the Southwest
(wiki)
Journal of the Southwest website  

December 6, 2016 -

Focusing on P3 in the context of the Plains water project is like complaining that the mugger who slugged me and stole my wallet had dirty fingernails. It is not the subject of primary concern. .

Reviewing SB0077 (1) … (the legislation) includes both surface and underground water. I see that it adds a few requirements to those already required to be addressed by the OSE. However, I don't see that it presents special hurdles to the APR, and it also lacks detail in some areas:

(9) whether the entity in the receiving basin has prepared and implemented a drought contingency plan and an approved water conservation plan;

Approved by whom?

(3) benefits presently and prospectively derived from the return flow of water used within the basin of
origin that will be eliminated by the proposed out-of-basin use;

What is return flow? Return from where?

(11) whether the source of supply can reliably sustain the diversion's anticipated firm yield considering the
predicted effects of climate change on precipitation patterns and temperature in the basin of origin.

The APR, despite its greenwashing about capturing surface water for recharging the aquifer, admits that there is negligible natural recharge and has presented no evidence that it can achieve artificial recharge. It claims that irrespective of such activity (and thus of climate-associated changes to precipitation patterns) the water reservoir underlying the Plains contains 300 years' worth of pumping at the stated rate. So all it has to do to meet condition 11) is abandon the flimsy pretense that it will do any recharging.
Finally, if I were the APR, I'd guarantee Plains residents an ample supply of water at a nominal rate. My money's being made from the Valley communities, especially once they're dependent on "my" water to sustain the overdevelopment that its consumption permits. I see no problem doling out a few hundred acre-feet to keep the locals happy.

So what are you prepared to do when the APR makes this guarantee: never mind about your wells; we'll meet your water needs!

First, do you object to this situation? If not, where's the problem?

Second: if you do object to it, what in any existing or proposed water law gives you any legal ground to prevent it? I really think you ought to answer both of these questions. If you can't, this legislation business just invites pettifoggery on both sides by evading the real issue.

Happily, I don't see how the APR can expect to overcome the objection that wrecked their previous proposal: they have no end user and are merely speculating.
(1) Links to SB 77 - NM SB 77 link to NM.gov
  or
Inter Basin Water Transfer Senate bill 2014  

Jim Nelson - Magdalena

Download the above commentary  

November 27, 2016 -
ALEC, is deeply imbeded in NM politics .... "Corporations and the Richest Americans Viscerally Oppose Common Good. The Masters of Mankind want us to become the "stupid nation," in the interests of their short-term gain -- damn the consequences."   Alternet Part 1    Part 2  

November 22, 2016 - P3 in Canada - Guardian

November 20, 2016 -
As you know, the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC (APR LLC) has published its amended application to mine water in the Plains of San Augustin basin. Despite the fact that we already beat this proposal, State Engineer Blaine has apparently given the Ranch's illegal proposal another shot. Unfortunately, this proceeding probably won't be like the last one - the Ranch has asked for a technical hearing .

You may remember that when we began this fight, we were told that we might have to hire a hydrologist. That day has come.

Here is why it is so important that our side has its own scientific expert: APR has commissioned a study that shows that pumping 54000 acre-feet/year will not affect our wells. You and I know that this is patent nonsense. However, as you may guess, the State Engineer and the courts will place little value on our gut reactions. Instead, they will be swayed by the testimony of hydrologists … which means that we need a hydrologist. And while we do not agree that this is right or fair, it is the reality we must deal with.
More detail click here:

November 4, 2016 -
Officials listen to water concerns.
More than 80 ranchers and concerned citizens ... (attended) a meeting by the Interim Legislative Committee for Water and Natural Resources to discuss the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC (APR) plan...More here  

October 27, 2016 -
Report on October 26, 2016 Water and Natural Resources commission, APR testimony. By Carol Pittman  

Related: SB0077 - Inter Basin Water Transfer Senate bill 2014  

SB-248 - Requiring the Interstate Stream Commission to Fully Fund the Grant County Regional Water Supply from the New Mexico Unit Fund.

October 27, 2016 -
People need to oppose water grab - Chieftain

Web sites of interest:
The 2001 Legislature enacted the Water Project Finance Act which created the Water Project Fund in the NMFA and charged the NMFA with the administration of the Fund and the Water Trust Board. Click here

USGS Water Resources in NM click here
USGS water-resource projects in NM click here  

Current Water P3 Market and US EPA Activities - Seattle, April 21-22, 2016 - Report  

Aquifer Compaction, Recovery in Albuquerque Basin - 1 page report

Ground water level data for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.  - 1 page report  

There's a Global Crisis Looming: By 2030, Four Out of 10 People Won’t Have Access to Water.   

October 18, 2016 -
Next week (26th) Water and Natural Resources Committee Agenda and Map

WNR Committee website  

October 13, 2016 -
APR Q&A published in the Chieftain

October 13, 2061 - Protesting Ranche's Water Application - letter to the editor by Emily Johnson

October 12, 2016 - The Water and Natural Resources Meeting on Wed. Oct. 26th

The San Augustin Plains presentation is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Socorro.

So it’s still undecided whether public comment will be received at the meeting. We should know on Friday when the final agenda is posted on the committee website.

A message from Eileen Dodds stated:
SAWC is on the agenda for W&NR in Socorro.

October 7, 2016 - KNME on APR project. New Mexico in Focus program:
YouTube website   
Or download the video MP4 format

UPDATE: Related information referred in the video -
Wild Earth Guardians  

September 30, 2016 - Environmental group ask state to deny firm’s request for water permit (SF New Mexican)  

August 17, 2016 - New Mexico official clears way for hearing on water proposal (SF New Mexican)  

Former politicians in the video::
Dan Foley in the panel discussion      
Joe Stell Named in the discussion 

October 6, 2016 - Looming megadroughts in western US would make current drought look minor:
Warming temperatures and uncertain rainfall mean if more isn’t done to slow climate change, droughts lasting 35 years could blight western states, study says... Full article here or download here  
Related: Above article based on this full report:
Relative impacts of mitigation, temperature, and
precipitation on 21st-century megadrought risk in
the American Southwest.pdf

Octobber 6, 2016 -
The meeting of the Interim Legislative Committee on Water and Natural Resources will be held in Socorro on October 26 at New Mexico Tech. I don’t have a time yet, but probably it will be afternoon. I’ll let you know about that as soon as I know. The Augustin Plains will be on the agenda and we will be allowed to speak at the meeting, so think about what you might like to tell the committee.

This is very good news. If you want to call and thank Don Tripp, that would be very nice (or email him):
phone 575-835-2461 or 1-800-256-1569
email: trippsdon@netscape.net

Energy-Water Nexus -

Water and energy are inextricably linked and mutually dependent, with each affecting the other’s availability. Water is needed for energy development and generation, and energy is required to supply, use, and treat drinking water and wastewater. Water and energy are also essential to our health, quality of life, and economic growth, and demand for both these resources continues to rise. GAO Report  

The FULL APR application is available below which contains all the exhibits, etc.., It is extremely important to review it. Basically they are going to take our water, destroy the ecosystem and leave us with sinking land and a desert. Meanwhile, sell the water, what is left, back to us.   April 28, 2016 APR Full 168 page application   

September 30, 2016 -
Below find the visuals used in the presentation by Dennis Inman in Magdalena September 28th in 3 different formats:
PDF
Power Point.ppt
Power Point Show.ppsx  (This should open a window. Use space bar or arrow keys to move through the show and ESC key to exit.)

Forced capping of private and community wells - a Nevada issue that may appear in New Mexico

September 28, 2016 -

-  APR presentation dated October 2013  

-  Magdalena Village resolution re: APR  

-  
APR Application dated April 28, 2016 and published in the newpapers September 2016. OR Click here for the FULL application sent to the State Engineeer Office .

-  APR Court actions updated to Sept 22, 2016  

-  Water Articles Written for Members of th NM
State Legislature and the Public 2015
   

September 27, 2016 - Committee on Water and Natural Resources canceled the Friday Sept 30 meeting and will use the same agenda October 26th - more details later.

Sept 23, 2016 - If APR doesn't get the water, beware the likes of Nestle  

September 20, 2016 -
The Legislative Interim Committee on Water and Natural Resources will meet in Socorro Sept 29-30 and the Augustin Plains Ranch project is on the agenda. The agenda is attached. If you can attend it will let the committee know that we are serious about our opposition. We should let the committee know that!

The location of the meeting appears at the top of the agenda. Below is a map showing the way to the Fidel Center where the meeting will be. If you'd like to car pool please call me at 575-772-5866. I suggest that we go on the second day, September 30.
Click here for agenda .
Click here for the above announcement  


Below is the 2012 press release from the State Engineer office rejection of the application back then. It has the reasons for rejection and who protested it.
April 2, 2012 - State Engineer press release on rejection of Application  

September 8, 2016 - NEW APPLICATION FILED -
From Carol Pittman, leading the fight:

The Augustin Plains Ranch LLC has published the
legal notice of its “new” application to mine water in the Plains of San Augustin. The notice is below, hopefully in a form readable by most humans. Note that the RG filing number is the same, indicating that this is the same application as before, with a few tweaks.

To protest the “new application” by the APR to mine water in our Augustin Plains basin: if you have a well that will be impaired, be sure to stress that circumstance. ALSO – include in your protest that this application is contrary to conservation of water and public welfare, but be sure that you include any impairment to your own well if that is the case. Anybody who lives or owns property in the vicinity of the Augustin Plains basin will be impaired, if not immediately, then within the foreseeable future, and it is important to note that.

Note: Send three copies of your letter (as required in the legal notice).

If you have previously protested, when you send your letter please add at the bottom:
PLEASE ADD THESE COMMENTS TO MY PREVIOUS LETTER OF PROTEST TO THIS PROJECT

The reason for that last line is that the Office of the State Engineer has told me that they will eliminate duplicate protests, and we are protesting this application partly on the basis of public welfare in order to qualify every protestant as someone who is directly impacted by the project. The OSE has a tendency to throw out letters of protest if that office decides that your water supply is not directly impacted. We want to change that for obvious reasons.

For updates on the progress of this application, please see the website San Augustin Water Report.

To all of you a BIG THANK YOU for all the years you have stuck with this effort. We can’t quit now!!!

APR Application.pdf
Sample short letter .txt or .doc
Sample long letter  .txt  or  .doc
The press release form Carol Pittman.pdf eminent

Also, Democracy Now! had an interview with the attorney representing 15 farmers in Iowa protesting "Eminent Domain" use by a private company to force farmers to submit to the pipeline thorough their land. It is possible eminent domain might be used by APR to force the taking of our water. Read the interview here.pdf

August 26, 2016 Chieftain articles
Water War  
County may protest Augustin Plains application  

August 23, 2016 update:
Associated Press release
It appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican and other papers around the country:

NM Environmental Law Center comment on the press release:

Doug Meiklejohn, an attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, said the latest application by the developers does not include any specifics about who the actual water users would be and only mentions that cities such as Albuquerque and Rio Rancho are in the market for more water rights.

"It appears that the application suffers from the same lack of end user that was the basis for us getting it dismissed the first time," he said. "You can't speculate in water in New Mexico. It's illegal." Santa Fe New Mexican.
Download comment here  

August 16, 2016 updates:
Propaganda "news releases" have gone out prior to what will be a new application to move the water from the APR.

Here is one release    
Related to this is another release - A Proposal for Rainwater Harvesting Gains Momentum in NM  

The PR firm is The Waite Company   Watch your local papers. Waite also works for the
NM Rural Water Association  

September 2, 2014 - Cornell report: US SW May face mega drought this century  

Drought Monitor   Drought Monitor for NM  

A notice from NM Environmental Law Center: The APR will be re-applying for drilling permits any day now and please keep an eye on legal notices in your papers. If you see a notice, notify us with name of paper and date and CC: the NMELC to make sure it reaches the right people. The Cynic: thecynic@informedcynic.com
NMELC: nmelc@nmelc.org

APR may have a partner in Aquifer Science, LLC. If anybody has information on the relationship with this company, please let us know.
NM business registration here.
Nevada registration here
 

Other Aquifer information:
- State turns down water bid for East Mountain development
- April 2011 - Aquifer Science, a partnership between Campbell Ranch and Vidler Water
Company, is applying to the Office of the State Engineer (OSE) for a permit to pump 1500 acre feet of water from the Sandia Basin each year. Click here 

Tied into this is Vidler New Mexico, LLC
Registration information click here
 

June 16, 2016 - Plans reveal sobering water future - Laura Paskus - New Mexico In Depth - May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016 - A disturbing trend in the water sector is accelerating worldwide. The new “water barons” — the Wall Street banks and elitist multibillionaires — are buying up water all over the world at unprecedented pace. Website here or PDF version here

2016 study: Public Information and Regulatory Processes: What the Public Knows and Regulators Decide - A study published in Review of Policy Research looks at rulemaking in five states, including the role of citizen input.
Abstract here
Full report here

April 30, 2016 - 15 new documents related to the P3 issue are on the P3 web page. click here

April 21, 2016 -
Chieftain article on the annual meeting  

April 21, 2016 - comments on Tom Blane talk  

A notice from NM Environmental Law Center: The APR will be re-applying for drilling permits any day now and please keep an eye on legal notices in your papers. If you see a notice, notify us with name of paper and date and CC: the NMELC to make sure it reaches the right people.
The Cynic: thecynic@informedcynic.com
NMELC: nmelc@nmelc.org

SAWC MEETING VIDEOS

Speaker is Tom Blaine - NM State Engineer

Part 1: Basic history of water rights (6 min.) 
Part 2: Augustin Plains water (12 min)
Part 3: Audience questions (18min)

November 2014 - Private Sector an Oasis for Thirsty San Antonio  

Relatated to San Antonio:
Day of Reckoning ... San Antonio Water P3

San Antonio Cuts Off Water Pipeline Proposals

How Much Groundwater Doest the West have?, Simplified (video)

Contra Santolina is a a coalition of organizations opposed to the Santolina Master Plan because it poses a long-term threat to the vitality of our communities, many of whom depend on water for their livelihood and existence. Website here  

February 7, 2016 - New geological report on the APR water. Click here

Corporations, investors 'grabbing' land and water
overseas
Click here

As competition for clean water grows, some of the world's biggest companies have joined forces to create unprecedented maps of the precious resource that flows beneath our feet. Click here  

Janurary 20, 2016 - Are NM Legislators Quietly Pushing the San Augustin Plains Ranch (APR) Water Deal? Who is the APR lobbyist - Click here    The story references this article from News Week here    or here 

------------------------------ END ----------------------
 

Bruno Modena,
Vittorino Modena,

2015 WATER NEWS

2015 - Inter-basin Water Transfers - Utton Transboundary Resources Center

2014 SB007 - RELATING TO WATER; Requiring additional procedures in the application process for the diversion and use of water from the basin of origin for use outside that basin: providing for exceptions.  Click Here
Related: Inter-basin Water Transfers
Related website: UNM "Water Matters"  

January 13 - From the Green Fire Times: 
“Return of New Mexico’s most highly contested water grab. The Office of the State Engineer is considering a third application from Italian billionaire Bruno Modena to speculatively appropriate more than 17 billion gallons of water every year – more than half of what Albuquerque used in 2013. The billionaire has already pulled his first two applications, but we’ll have to see if the third time’s the charm under State Engineer Tom Blaine. The NMELC   will continue to represent nearly 100 residents of west-central New Mexico in their bid to keep water in the public trust in this hugely important water case.”

If you feel inclined to do so, please let NMELC know how much we appreciate their efforts to stop the water grab, efforts that so far have been successful.

New Mexico Environmental Law Center  
OR e-mail dmeiklejohn@nmelc.org
1405 Luisa Street, Suite #5
Santa Fe NM 87505

Current issue of Green Fire Times  

January 2015 -
Unfair Cooperation Agreement on Water Privatization (Many resources) Click here
  
Or go directly to the website:

Speech by APR CEO Michel Jichlinksi in 2013 to the Drought Sub-committee in Las Cruces -
- Jichlinski Report to the Drought Committee 
- Jichlinski APR project - "private-public partnership".pdf
- SAWC report to the Sub-committee

Click here for Channel 7 article and video

November 12 - we "won" the court case. The original 2008 application rejected by the state engineer stands. Albuquerque Channel 7, KOAT, was there with video and interviews.Click here for article and video
Channel 7, KOAT article  

The issue from the NM Environmental Law Center: :
The New York-based company seeks to pump 54,000 acre-feet of water annually through thirty-seven 20” wells. The Law Center represents approx. 80 individuals and organizations in this case; our clients are concerned about the impacts of pumping on their water, on wildlife, springs, and on the Rio Grande and Gila Rivers, which are hydrologically connected to the San Augustin Plains—and which is the last undammed river in the Southwest.

More on the legal story here

Chieftain:
Judge stands by ruling on water use 
 

SEPT 21 - NOTICE: 22nd MEETING POSTPONED
From Doug Meiklejohn of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center comes the following message:

an order has come from the District Court postponing the hearing on the motion to dismiss and remand. The reason for the order is that Peter White, who represents the Cuchillo Community Ditch Association, asked that the hearing be postponed because he will be out of the county this wee
k. One good thing to know is if there is a business tie, formal or informal, between the "water grab" and the Santolina project in Albuquerque.

News story collection related to APR project:
Part 1        Part 2  

Sept 3 -
A hearing on the Augustin Plains Ranch's motion to dismiss and remand. As you can see, the hearing is set for 2:30 p.m. on
September 23rd at the courthouse in
Reserve. Motion To Dismiss  

August 25 - News Flash: Note the legal section of the Chieftian.   Owners of Cat Mountain Ranch want to drill three wells and take over 195,510,000 gallons of water per year out of there. This project is much closer to Magdalena than the APR.

August 24, 2015 -

On July 30, 2015 the Augustin Plains Ranch filed a Motion to “Remand and Dismiss with the State Engineer” at the 7th Judicial Court. The motion states “Appeal from a decision of the New Mexico State Engineer in OSE hearing No. 09-096”. You will remember that this decision, rendered by Judge Matthew Reynolds, upheld the State Engineer’s denial of APR’s application to mine water in the Augustin Plains.

Doug Meiklejohn, Director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, stated:

”We believe that it is important to oppose the motion because we think that the motion is really an effort to persuade the District Court Judge to vacate his ruling that upheld the State Engineer's denial of the Augustin Plains Ranch's application.”

Subsequently, on August 12, 2015 the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, on behalf of its clients filed “A Response in Opposition to Augustin Plains Ranch LLC’s Motion to Dismiss and Remand to State Engineer”. Mr. Meiklejohn has explained:

"The Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC now has 18 days from the date that each of the responses* to its motion was filed in which to file a reply to each response. ... It is possible that the Judge will set a hearing to have oral arguments on the motion, but I do not know whether that will happen or when the hearing will be if one is scheduled.”

This is the latest legal maneuvering on the part of APR. Download this announcement.pdf

July 19, 2015 -
water grab update:
People ask “What can we do?” Right now just become informed. The time will come when we will need to fight the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC application again. Information is important in that battle, and these articles are key to understanding the water situation in the west.

One thing everyone can do right now is watch for the announcement of that APR LLC application. The State Engineer will publish the application in the legal section of newspapers, but we don’t know where or when. So, everybody, watch your local papers wherever you are in New Mexico to be sure we don’t miss the appeal period!

July 19, 2015 - How the West Over counts its Water Supplies  (NYTimes arfticle)

July 8 - County commission should listen to objections to Santolina project

July 1, 2015 - Official: New Mexico water debate to be shaped by transfers

June 30, 2015 -
Many of you already know that the Bernalillo County Commission has approved the Santolina Master Plan, Level A (Level B and Level C will refine the general provisions in the plan). Subsequently the Commission also approved the Development Agreement....
Full press releast here  

Related stories:
-
Santolina Approval  
- ABQ City Council rejects city input on Santolina
- Santolina closer to approval..opponents shout 'Shame!"
- Attempt to push back Santolina decision fails
- Video: Two sides on Santolina
- Water, 'systems thinking' &Santolina tangled history
- ABQ West Side development plans included in capital outlay

June 5, 2015 - Transparency Needed

Related documents:
- NM water debate shaped by transfers
- Seven States Running Out of Water
- Synopsis of proposed water for sale in other geographic areas
- Proposed Santolina Development Threatens South Valley
Acequias

- Synopsis of San Augustin Plains proposed water pumping applications 3/17/15  
- Tensions over Rio Grande escalate with Drought  

May 7, 2015-
KUNM talk show on the Santolina Project

January 17, 2014 - Population growth in New Mexico is approaching zero—and other bad signs (Washington Post)  

April 24 "Santolina" project update -

There is a project called Santolina in Bernalillo
County. We are convinced that the water will
have to come from outside the area for this
project should it be approved, and where
better than from the Augustin Plains. At the hearing in Albuquerque last March 25, we learned that Santolina will have an effect beyond the local area. The next hearing is
May 11 and our voices need to be added to those of the local people opposing this project.

An example of what you might say: "Water is
scarce in New Mexico. Why is there an
application to mine water in Catron County and
pipe it north to Albuquerque if there's plenty of
water there already to serve 99,000 new
people? Something doesn't add up here.
Please DO NOT approve Santolina."

Here is a summary of the project:
Summary.pdf    or     Summary.doc
Download a Map.jpg

Sign the Petition

Related: :
Bernalillo County Government
Contra Sandolina
Images of Master Plan

March 23, 2015-

March Santolina Announcement

Download this announcement  

March 18 -

March 18, 2015 Water grab update 

March 23, 2015
Bernalillo - Santolina development plan and water use

April 11, 2015 - annual meeting of coalition  

March 18, 2015 - Update, Mike Loyla     and  
The Sustainable Research Center

March 6, 2015 - HB-299 Update

February 26, 2014 -
Vote no on the Public-Private Partnership Act (HB 299), or any legislative attempts toward privatization.

More information here    
 
Please sign the petition here

Feb 11, 2015 -
Citizens mobilize against water grabs   (or go to web link here)

Feb 5, 2015 - Update on SB 276: With regard to Senate Bill 276, the bill received a "do pass" recommendation from the Committee, and the vote was unanimous.

February 3, 2015-
Senate Bill 276 needs the support of the water grab community.
Visit the Senate website to read it.
Or download the bill here

There is a bill pending in the State Legislature (Senate Bill 276) that would require the State Engineer to hold hearings on contested water rights applications in the county in which the water right at issue is located unless the parties to the proceeding agreed to have the
hearing elsewhere. The assumption is that the bill would make it easier for people protesting applications to deal with those applications.

ASAP, please let Doug Meiklejohn, the head of the NM Environmental Law Center, of your support for the bill SB 276 as soon as possible. His email is: dmeiklejohn@nmelc.org

January 21, 2015
The battle goes on ... and on ....
Why? Well, the Augustin Plains Ranch thinks we will quit and go away. If we do, they win.

Bruce Frederick, attorney defending us in battle, has won the first two rounds for us: two applications submitted to the Office of the State Engineer have been rejected.

Now there’s a third application.

The State Engineer has the application, but is not publishing it as he must do before it can be acted upon. He can sit on it indefinitely (and maybe hope we’ll go away?) and until it is noticed in local papers we cannot take any action. So here’s what we have to do: 1) watch the local papers for an announcement of the new application and 2) protest at that time.

Meanwhile, don’t give up. We can win if we hang in and work together. So far that’s what has happened; you have all been great through seven years of protests, court cases and games playing by the APR LLC.
012115-commentary

Michel Jichlinski