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Workshop for Local Legislators and Participating Officials May 7, 2008 City of Las Cruces Doña Ana County Do ñ a Ana MDWCA Town of Mesilla Anthony WSD.

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Presentation on theme: "Workshop for Local Legislators and Participating Officials May 7, 2008 City of Las Cruces Doña Ana County Do ñ a Ana MDWCA Town of Mesilla Anthony WSD."— Presentation transcript:

1 Workshop for Local Legislators and Participating Officials May 7, 2008 City of Las Cruces Doña Ana County Do ñ a Ana MDWCA Town of Mesilla Anthony WSD Village of Hatch New Mexico State University Elephant Butte Irrigation District

2 The Rio Grande Project Settlement of 2008

3 The Rio Grande Project New Mexico: Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID) 90,640 acres (57%) El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 (EPCWID) 69,010 acres (43%) Mexico 60,000 AF

4 Compact NM Compact TX 1938 – The Rio Grande Compact Otowi Apportions the water of the Rio Grande among Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas –Federal government operated the Rio Grande Project as a single unit –Entire Rio Grande Project included in Texas –No provision for apportioning water within the Rio Grande Project

5 Irrigation Hydrologic Cycle: Plan View Reservoir Rio Grande Release/Diversion Diversion Main Canals Laterals Conveyance/Distribution Deliveries Delivery (Farm Turnout) Drains Return Flows Downstream Users

6 Post-Compact Problems – Persistent recurring drought –Rio Grande Project farmers respond to short water supply by developing groundwater pumping capacity –D1 and D2 curves developed for future allocation to EBID, EPCWID, and Mexico Release 600 kAF D2 - Divert 713 kAF D1 - Deliver 393 kAF

7 Post-Reclamation – Districts pays off construction loans –Reclamation contractually obligated to develop allocation and operating plan for Project 1980 – City of El Paso applied for groundwater well permits in New Mexico portion of Mesilla Bolson –State of New Mexico denies application –Ensuing lawsuit by El Paso dismissed in – Full allocations to EBID, EPCWID, and Mexico 1997 – 2001 Reclamation files Quiet Title Suit –EPCWID files cross claim –Trilateral negotiations begin in 1998, collapse in 2000 –Suit dismissed in 2001 –EBID files suit in Federal District Court in Albuquerque

8 Groundwater Diversion/Conveyance Drainage ReturnFlow Seepage Well CropWaterUse Irrigation CanalField Drain RioGrande Problem: Release to diversion hydrology altered by groundwater pumping in New Mexico

9 Return of Drought 2003 – After 24 years of full supply, drought returns 2003 – 2006 – Reclamation employs ad hoc allocation method –Mexicos allocation based on usable water in Project storage –Remaining diversion divided between EBID and EPCWID in 57%/43% proportions, respectively

10 Visualizing Groundwater Impacts

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12 Dangers of Groundwater Depletions of Surface Water Kansas v. Colorado on the Arkansas River Texas v. New Mexico on the Pecos River –$15M settlement, $180M compliance cost Rio Grande much higher value resource

13 Escalating Tensions 2006 – (April) EBID proposes D3 allocation method, tying EPCWID and Mexico allocations to Project Release, based on D1/D2 Inconsistent implementation by U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 2007 – EPCWID files suit in federal district court in Texas based on Reclamations allocation and carryover issues Litigation appears inevitable

14 February 14, 2008 January 2008 – Last-ditch attempt to negotiate allocation and operating agreementJanuary 2008 – Last-ditch attempt to negotiate allocation and operating agreement –Mediated by Texas Compact Commissioner Pat Gordon –Major issues addressed January 21 and 22 –Details worked out January 23 to February 13

15 Highlights of the Agreement Annual Allocation based on D3 procedure (D1 basis for Mexico allocation, D2 basis for El Paso #1 allocation) level of groundwater pumping grandfathered in EBID benefits from Project supply in excess of D2 level if release is greater than 600 kAF Carryover equal to 60 percent of a full allocation may be accumulated by each district (306 kAF for EBID, 233 kAF for EPCWID) Excess carryover goes into account of other district Mexicos allocation based on actual release

16 Key Points of Compromise EPCWID wanted and got carryover, protection from impacts of excessive groundwater pumping in New Mexico EBID wanted and got D3 as basis for allocation of Project Water regardless of origin, and accountability from Reclamation EBID and EPCWID dismiss their lawsuits Reclamation will conduct an internal review of the operations of the El Paso Field Office under the Managing for Excellence program Allocation and operating procedures are specifically codified, subject to change by consensus agreement

17 Benefits Massive court, settlement, and compliance costs avoided Cost to State of New Mexico: $0.00 Potential for LRG to develop innovative conjunctive management of water resources Resources can be focused on improving productivity rather than litigation Local solution to local problem LRG water supply is as certain as it can be

18 Whats Next? Negotiations with State of New Mexico over conjunctive management of surface water and groundwater Continuing coordination among water use sectors –Protect existing equities and beneficial use –Plan for and support economic development and changing use Storm water management and capture –Address existing flood control deficiencies –Take advantage of opportunity for new water

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20 LRGWUOs Flood – Related Initiatives Need continued Dam Safety – Pilot Project –Training, inspection, inundation mapping, emergency response planning –Building local organizational and institutional infrastructure Need an Early Warning System –National Weather Service NEXRAD –Upper watershed and flow instrumentation Pilot project in Placitas (Hatch), Rincon, and Picacho Arroyos

21 Need a Storm Water Capture and Use program –Controlled release from dams to river, canals, drains, Municipal &Industrial treatment –Offset release from Caballo Reservoir –Infiltration for aquifer recharge –Environmental enhancements for river restoration –Water quality enhancements – E. Coli mitigation –Sediment management –Redesign of flood control infrastructure –Institutional/legal implications Need an Aquifer Storage and Recovery program LRGWUOs Flood – Related Initiatives Continued…

22 Municipal and Industrial Surface Water Treatment Initiatives Village of Hatch – Rincon Valley Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association – North Valley City of Las Cruces Mesquite Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association – South Valley

23 Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse Initiatives City of Las Cruces Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association – North Valley Village of Hatch – Rincon Valley Doña Ana County

24 Funding Requests

25 Questions?


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