THE GILA RIVER NEEDS YOU!
Attend Grant County Commission Special Meeting
Monday, March 11 @ 2pm Grant Co. Administration Building
Speak up for a Free-Flowing Gila River!
Tell Grant County Commissioners to DISAPPROVE Resolution to support Southwest New Mexico Regional Water Supply Project
The Grant Co. Commission has called a special meeting for Monday, March 11 at 2pm in the Commission Chambers. On the agenda is approval/disapproval of resolution R-13-18 to support the Southwest New Mexico Regional Water Supply Project.
To date, Luna County, the City of Deming and the Southwest County Commission Alliance have signed this resolution that supports “the design and construction of multiple diversion storage facilities, with at least one large water storage facility that would contain the majority of the storage allotment maximum of 60,000 acre feet” for distribution in the four counties of southwest New Mexico.
In resolution R-13-18, Grant County Commissioners are ready to sign up our community for an expensive water project, the Southwest New Mexico Regional Water Supply Project, outside of the public AWSA stakeholder planning process and without any engineering, cost or environmental information to inform their decision. We need to strongly oppose this.
The Grant County Commissioners are supporting “the regional water project submitted by the Grant County Water Commission, Grant Counties effluent conveyance, retention and recharge project, and a permanent irrigation solution for the Gila Valley.” We should thank them for support of these cost-effective non-diversion projects.
Please tell the Grant County Commission that you DON’T SUPPORT the Southwest NM Regional Water Supply Project for the following reasons:
- This project is expensive – The exchange cost is projected to be over $2.2 million per year by 2018 well before this project is even constructed. Operations and maintenance costs are estimated at $3.7 million per year. The construction cost has been estimated at $323 million – more than double the promised $128 million federal subsidy.
- AWSA subsidy isn’t enough to cover the construction cost of a diversion leaving taxpayers and water users to foot the bill – The AWSA subsidy will cover only 40% of the estimated cost of construction. The additional cost would be shouldered by local taxpayers and water users and burden local government with debt. At a time when federal, state and local budgets are spread thin, a diversion project outstrips our financial resources.
- Building a pipeline to Deming increases the chances of exporting Gila River water and other water rights into the Rio Grande.
- A diversion/storage/pipeline project would destroy the ecological values of the Gila River that provide economic benefit to the region from recreation and tourism.
Please tell the Grant County Commission that you do SUPPORT common-sense, cost-effective non-diversion alternatives that secure our water future at low cost and keep the Gila River flowing. The following non-diversion alternatives have been put forward by local municipalities and stakeholders to meet our future water needs:
- Grant County Regional Water Supply Project that will benefit 26,000 people in Silver City and the Mining District
- Water reuse projects in Deming, Bayard and Silver City
- Municipal and agricultural conservation