Tell your county commissioners and elected officials you support common-sense, cost-effective non-diversion AWSA alternatives that secure our water future affordably and keep the Gila River free-flowing!
In response to a trumped up threat by Senator John Arthur Smith to pipe the Gila River to Las Cruces, pressure is being applied to local governments to support a large-scale diversion and pipeline project that will have profound implications to the Gila River, as well as raise taxes and increase water rates.
Secret meetings have been taking place between state and local government officials to cut a back room deal on the Arizona Water Settlements Act (AWSA). These meetings are not open to the public, subverting the public process that citizens in Southwestern New Mexico have participated in the last several years. The multi-stakeholder planning process under the AWSA resulted in a range of non-diversion projects being put forward for consideration. The analysis of these projects has not been completed yet.
As documented in the draft resolution for governmental entities to sign in support of the new diversion project and handed out at the February 19 Gila-San Francisco Water Commission meeting, “the cities of Deming, Silver City, Hurley, Bayard, and Santa Clara, and Luna and Grant counties met on February 12,2013″ and “provided direction to the City of Deming in amending its [AWSA Tier 2] application…..[for] a diversion project with one or two storage facilities capable of diverting and storing the full amount of AWSA water for future use.” Deming’s proposal is to divert and pipe the Gila River to Deming via Silver City and the Mining District. There is pressure being applied to communities to withdraw their local AWSA proposals and to support this new project instead.
Please tell Senator John Arthur Smith, the Interstate Stream Commission, and your county commissioners that you DON’T SUPPORT the new diversion project for the following reasons:
- This project is expensive.
- $2 Million in exchange costs every year to repay the Gila River Indian Community for their Gila water that NM would divert;
- $323 Million (or more) to build a diversion and pipeline – more than double the promised $128 Million subsidy;
- $195 Million – the amount taxpayers and water users will have to come up with to fill the funding gap for diversion and pipeline;
- $3.7 Million (or more) for yearly Operation & Maintenance of diversion and pipeline.
- 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 burden local government with debt. Water rates for water users will increase. At a time when federal, state and local budgets are spread thin and businesses are suffering, 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 Senator John Arthur Smith, the Interstate Stream Commission and county commissioners 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.
PLEASE ACT TODAY!
Senator John Arthur Smith (D-35, Doña Ana, Luna, Hidalgo, Sierra)
email@example.com; Senate Office 505-986-4365
Jim Dunlap, Interstate Stream Commission Chairman
Gabriel Ramos, Comm. Dist. 1 – 575.574.0021, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brett Kasten, Comm. Dist. 2 – 575.574.0022, email@example.com
Ron Hall, Comm. Dist. 3 – 575.574.0023, firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Chaires – 575.542.9080, email@example.com
Ed Kerr – 575.313.2606, firstname.lastname@example.org
Darr Shannon – 575.313.0554, email@example.com
Joe “Oleo” Milo, Comm. Dist. 1 – 575.546.0494, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jay Spivey, Commissioner Dist. 2 – 575.546.0494, email@example.com
Javier Diaz, Comm. Dist. 3 – 575.936.6446, firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard McGuire, Comm. Dist. 1 – 575.772.2586, email@example.com
Glyn Griffin, Commissioner Dist. 2 – 575.533.6360, firstname.lastname@example.org
Van “Bucky” Allred, Commissioner Dist. 3 – 575-539-2324, email@example.com