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Why should you care?

The Augustin Plains Ranch LLC continues to apply for water rights without stating a specific use and place of use.  That’s called speculation in water and is illegal.  Every citizen of New Mexico should object to this application.  Not only does it speculate in water, if approved it will destroy a rural community and the water mined and piped away from the Plains of San Augustin will be prohibitively expensive to people in other communities.   Do you want to enrich an international corporation or do you believe that water is a human right to be available to all?   This application, if approved, could set a precedent and affect communities throughout New Mexico.

Additional Reading

"The Water Grab on the Augustin Plains
Sierra Club - Southern New Mexico Group: a good general summary of the water mining proposal.

"NM Ranchers: Venture threatens to leave area dry"
by John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal, 10 Apr 2010.  Reproduced in Deseret News.  This newspaper article summarizes ranchers fears about the water mining plan.

Expert witness predicts water grab will "create draw down of 30 feet a year"
The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, who solicited the expert testimony, joins as a protestant against the Augustin Plains Ranch proposal.  This article summarizes Dr Frank Titus's testimony before the MRGCD, predicting devastating effects from water mining in the plains, and criticizing the pursuit of short-term profits without adequate knowledge of the consequences.

Who is "Augustin Plains Ranch LLC"?  The speculator reportedly behind Augustin Plains Ranch LLC, the corporation attempting to appropriate water from Catron County's ground water acquifer, is Italian national Bruno Modena. This is not the first time Mr. Modena has been involved in a questionable profit-taking venture inside the US, nor the first time local residents have united to oppose his plans.  The link above will take you to their very slick and self-promoting website full of spurious "science".

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center represents a number of individuals and organizations united in fighting the APR water mining proposal.   Bruce Frederick is the NMELC attorney fighting to protect existing water rights in the plains area.  You can follow the ongoing litigation process on their website.

Petition to New Mexico supreme court:  New Mexico Environmental Law Center urges the Supreme Court to "stop wasting money on an illegal project" and turn down the water miner's new proposal in this petition for writ of mandamus filed in September 2014.

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