INFORMATION & RESOURCES
You'll find here a collection of articles and links to help inform you about our fight against the Augustin Plains Ranch water miners, and the need for sustainable water policies in the state of New Mexico.
APR's False Promises:
Debunking the Myths
"Not only would neighboring landowners discover their wells running dry, surface springs will disappear and water that makes its way to the Gila and Monticello Box will wind up in the Rio Grande instead. The entire region will be placed at risk of catastrophic loss."
(from The Water Grab on the San Augustin Plains by Mary Katherine Ray)
Myth #1: Water mining in the San Augustin Plains is the answer for growing urban water demand
What New Mexico needs more than new water, is new THINKING. Building new wellfields and extracting additional ground water only delays the inevitable. Approaches like improved agricultural/industrial efficiency, waste water re-use, and water conservation will extend current supplies and help us avoid environmentally damaging acts of desperation. In addition, transporting the water, with the necessary piping and pumping costs, make the Augustine water cost prohibitive. This is a purely profit motivated venture, not a public service...APR wants to make a buck, and to do so they will cry for government help and charge top dollar for the water they produce
Myth #2: Water mining will "contribute to sustainability" in the San Augustin Plains and neighboring areas
Here is the standard dictionary definition of "sustainable": a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged .
The only EXPERT analysis available of the water mining proposal, that prepared by Dr. Frank Titus (read a summary here) predicts that the San Augustin aquifer will be both depleted and permanently damaged. The APR water miners claim that a reliable hydrogeological study of their proposal is too expensive, so all of their claims of sustainability are just that...claims. Wishful thinking? Lies? It would be irresponsible and foolishly naive to approve a venture of such potentially disastrous impact based on the claims (wishful thinking? lies?) of the corporate entity that stands to benefity the most from that venture.
Dr. Vendana Shiva, author of the book "Water Wars," defines "nonsustainable" in this manner: Nonsustainable use includes extracting more water from ecosystems than nature can recharge and consuming more than one's legitimate share.
Now THAT sounds more like what the water miners have in mind. It's a short-sighted, greedy, poorly-researched plan. Maybe they should start by reading the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's "Middle Rio Grande" report so that next time around, their plan won't violate the federal water compacts and leave protected habitats without water.
Myth #3: The APR water mining plan represents a "partnership" that will be beneficial to private and government stakeholders.
Kind of a funny thing that none of these stakeholders have bought into the supposed partnership. In fact, those who are listed as PROTESTANTS against the water grab include ranchers, municipal water companies, New Mexico agencies, Native American nations and pueblos, environmental groups, federal agencies, universities, local government representatives, the San Augustin Water Coalition, Catron County Water Coalition, surrounding town and subdivision residents... It's a very long list of "stakeholders" who think the water grab is a very bad idea. Doesn't seem like much of a partnership.
Catron County's fight to halt water mining is featured in film: The New Mexico Environmental Law Center has produced a short film about its efforts to preserve the Land of Enchantment. The San Augustin Plains water grab is featured in that film.
APR Water Mining Proposal on KNME-TV: "THE LINE" opinion panelists talk about the controversial water mining application in this Oct 7, 2016 television segment.
State Engineer talks to San Augustin Water Coalition: New Mexico State Engineer, Mr. Tom Blaine, was the featured speaker at the San Augustin Water Coalition annual meeting in April 2016. He discussed the status of the water miner's application, its current status, and future projections.