TAKE ACTION TODAY TO PROTECT NEW MEXICO’S LAST WILD RIVER!
Tell Governor Susana Martinez “NO” to Harmful Billion Dollar Diversion Project!
The time is now for the future of the Gila River, the last major undammed river in New Mexico. At the end of 2014, the State of New Mexico must notify the Secretary of the Interior if it will move forward with a diversion project under the Arizona Water Settlements Act.It is difficult to imagine how the wild Gila here in New Mexico could be reduced to an industrialized zone with diversions, canals, access roads, reservoirs and fences, like it is downstream in Arizona.
The Gila River diversion project doesn’t make sense. It is infeasible – it is too expensive, with costs over $1B, will yield little water after evaporation and leaky reservoirs, and it will negatively impact the Gila’s fragile ecology, including six threatened and endangered species.
The answer is simple. Meet southwest New Mexico’s long-term water needs by using AWSA funding to implement local community water projects that will save the taxpayer money and protect the Gila River for future generations.
GILA CONSERVATION COALITION MARKS ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY
”We were not incorporated, had no officers, and used my own post office box,” M.H. “Dutch” Salmon recalls. “But the pro-dam people began to pay more attention to us. In fact, I think we had a pretty significant effect.”
During a recent interview, the Silver City conservationist took time out to describe the early impact of the Gila Conservation Coalition, which Salmon helped organize in 1984 as a means of helping to protect the free flow of the Gila and San Francisco Rivers. A partnership of conservation groups promoting conservation of the Upper Gila River Basin and surrounding lands, the GCC was instrumental in stopping the Hooker and Conner Dam proposals put forward by government agencies during the 1980s. READ MORE
We hope you had fun, were inspired and got your feet wet at this year’s Gila River Festival. We sure did! Hurricane Odile brought us some much needed rain, but didn’t prevent us from celebrating the Gila.
Thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers, presenters, field trip leaders and sponsors. We couldn’t do it without you!
We’ll see you next year for the 11th annual Gila River Festival September 17 – 20, 2015.
FORMER INTERSTATE STREAM COMMISSION DIRECTOR SHOWS GILA RIVER DIVERSION COSTS COULD EXCEED $1 BILLION
September 18, 2014
Albuquerque, NM – The Arizona Water Settlement Act of 2004 (AWSA) authorizes a federal water development project named the New Mexico Unit of the Central Arizona Project (NM Unit) proposing to divert water from the wild Gila River, store the water in reservoirs, and pump water to SW New Mexico municipalities.
The recent Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) July 2014 Appraisal Report to the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) analyzed a series of Gila diversion configurations. Unfortunately it did not combine diversion, storage, and delivery components into a comprehensive system. This is critical to allow direct comparison to other ISC diversion proposals analyzed by Bohannon-Huston Inc. (BHI) that are designed to maximize use of AWSA water. Completion of these combined calculations shows that a comprehensive diversion and water delivery system for Deming could cost more than $1.1 Billion. READ COMPLETE MEMO
Report Shows Gila Diversion At Risk for Fatal Flaws
Silver City, NM – 6/24/14– The Gila Conservation Coalition sent a letter on Monday to Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) chairman, Jim Dunlap, outlining how commissioners were misled by staff about conclusions of an independent engineering review by RJH Consultants (RJH) of the Gila River diversion Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) prepared by Bohannan Huston (BHI). The conclusions were contradicted by the FY15 Gila Diversion work plan prepared by staff and approved by ISC Commissioners at their meeting in June. The work plan claimed that RJH confirmed that the BHI study was “adequate for conceptual level project planning,” but RJH found that “several project components were not adequately addressed in the PER and it is currently unknown if these components represent significant technical challenges or potential fatal flaws….for storage reservoirs and dams, project water availability, and Gila River sediment.” There are currently no plans approved by the ISC to evaluate issues identified by RJH as high priority and critical to determining if the Gila River diversion project is fatally flawed from a technical or financial perspective. Though over $1 million was approved by the ISC for the first half of FY2015, it is unclear what the ISC will do with this funding and if answers to key questions raised by RJH will be addressed. READ MORE