For Immediate Release
June 25, 2015
Contact: Allyson Siwik, Executive Director
575.538.8078 office/575.590.7619 cell; email@example.com
Grant County Commission Approves NM CAP Entity Joint Powers Agreement
JPA commits local communities to fund $1 billion Gila River diversion project
Silver City, NM – The Grant County Commission approved today the Joint Powers Agreement to form the NM CAP (Central Arizona Project) Entity that will be responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the billion-dollar Gila River diversion project.
Grant County commissioners committed to financing a $1 billion diversion project that is technically infeasible, is expensive and unaffordable, and is unnecessary given that non-diversion alternatives can reliably meet water supply needs at a small fraction of the cost of a diversion.
By signing onto the JPA, Grant County may issue bonds and levy taxes and user fees on water users to pay for the costs of the NM Unit. The Arizona Water Settlements Act subsidy of $100M won’t cover the full cost of the NM Unit, leaving a gap of $900+ million for taxpayers and water users to cover.
“It’s a travesty that the JPA commits county residents to building and financing a costly diversion project and explicitly prohibits funding of cost-effective non-diversion alternatives that can meet southwest New Mexico’s future water needs at a fraction of the cost of a diversion project,” stated Allyson Siwik, Executive Director of the Gila Conservation Coalition.
“This JPA takes AWSA funding away from community water projects that can benefit people throughout southwest New Mexico. AWSA funds could be used to fully fund diversion and ditch infrastructure improvements for irrigators on the Gila and San Francisco Rivers, funding municipal water projects like conservation, effluent reuse and water supply infrastructure improvements, and improving our watersheds through watershed restoration. These community water projects represent the common sense and responsible approach to meeting our future water needs.”