- Augustin Plains Ranch Water Project Holds Potential to Supply Middle Rio Grande Valley With Abundant Water for Centuries
LAS CRUCES — In response to a positive hearing with the New Mexico State Drought Sub-Committee in Las Cruces in October, Augustin Plains Ranch Project Director Michel Jichlinski released the following statement:
“We are very encouraged to hear that key leaders in the Legislature and in other areas of water law and policy in New Mexico view our proposal as viable, deserving of further investigation, and in need of an active role by the State. This is New Mexico’s water, and we believe that it is in the State’s best interest for it to be involved in determining where the water goes and how it will be used. This meeting was a very positive, forward step. We continue to encourage the local communities of Catron and Socorro counties to work with us and with the State as we investigate the tremendous potential of this project as it could provide a sustainable source of water for so many New Mexicans for centuries to come.”
The proposed Augustin Plains Ranch water pipeline project, much like the San Juan Chama River Project before it, has tremendous potential to supply New Mexico’s middle Rio Grande Valley with an abundance of water for centuries to come.
The demand for water in our state already surpasses its availability, and the situation is becoming even more dire due to extreme drought. That is why the project’s supporters and sponsors are committed to developing this much-needed resource on behalf of all New Mexicans. This state-of-the-art, eco-friendly project will be unique, producing its own power for operation through hydropower and solar energy. But more importantly, the project will create a new, sustainable and abundant source of water independent of compacts with other states.
This will be accomplished by replenishing a massive, underground aquifer in western New Mexico with rainwater that is currently lost to evaporation. The project will provide water to New Mexicans where it is needed most, and will also improve river habitat and water quality in the Rio Grande. With support from local, state, and federal agencies as well as New Mexico’s local communities, this project can begin delivering this desperately needed water within five years.
The contents of Jichlinski’s presentation can be read on the committee’s website here.