April 27, 2017
The NM CAP Entity’s April meeting was full of finger pointing as it became apparent that the group’s Gila River diversion plans would be severely delayed due to another Open Meetings Act (OMA) misstep.
The Entity was to make a decision on a revised scope of work for the Interstate Stream Commission’s (ISC) consultant to conduct additional feasibility analyses for the Gila River diversion project. Because the meeting was not properly noticed to the public, the group was limited to discussion only. The error will prevent the Entity and the ISC from meeting an end-of-fiscal-year Department of Finance and Administration deadline for any contract changes. The ISC’s Kim Abeyta Martinez explained that this delay means that it would be late fall 2017 before the NM CAP Entity could expect to have results from the additional diversion feasibility analyses.
The ripple effect of this OMA mistake calls into question the ability of the Entity to meet the Arizona Water Settlements Act 2019 deadline for environmental compliance for the proposed diversion project. Considering that the group has not yet defined a feasible proposed action and the clock is running out, the NMCAPE should decide to reject the diversion and focus on funding non-diversion projects that can immediately meet southwest New Mexico’s water needs in a cost-effective manner.
The next NM CAP Entity meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2nd, 9 am, Grant County Administration Building. Agenda is not yet available.
Silver City Daily Press – 4/22/17 – Chair: Gila diversion group ‘flailing’
Silver City Daily Press Letter to the Editor 4/25/17 – ‘Flailing’ CAP Entity needs to face the facts before it’s too late
Deming Headlight – 4/19/17 – Gila River diversion plans may change under CAP Entity