Letter To The Editor: The Elephant In The Room

By ALLEN SCHMIEDICKE 
Los Alamos 

Everyone is talking about adding more and more housing to get people living in Los Alamos.

Set a limit of 25,000, let’s build taller building, higher density and more than 1 house on a lot. But no one wants to talk about the elephant in the room. And that elephant is water. 

The county has a limited number of water rights. If the county needs more water rights, than the county has to find them and buy them. All water rights in the state are spoken for.

If you look up Los Alamos County water rights, the county will tell you that it has 5,541.3 acre-feet/year. What it does not tell you is that 1,662.39 acre-feet belong to the lab. 

My understanding is that if the lab needs the water for a project, they can take back the rights and that leaves the county with 3,878.91 acre-feet. However, the county does have 1,200 acre-feet from San Juan/Chama project but at what cost for infrastructure.

I suggest that everyone take the time and read Pete Sheehey’s article of Aug. 3, 2014 in the Daily Post. (Link).

LOS ALAMOS

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