Earth Matters /
2014 NM Legislature – Water Policy Press Conference

This week’s program features a live press conference called by Santa Fe Senator Peter Wirth to discuss New Mexico water policy and hear from stakeholders throughout the state. It also discusses his bills – SB 89 and SB90, both of which are cosponsored by Silver City Senator Howie Morales. Silver City resident Cissy McAndrew – executive director of the SW chapter of the Green Chamber of Commerce – also voiced business opposition to an AWSA diversion of the Gila River.  Toner Mitchell, Public Lands Coordinator for Trout Unlimited, provided the sportsmen’s perspective on the Gila River issue and support for SB 89.

These bills address the AWSA (Arizona Water Settlement Act) and its threatened diversion of the Gila River. SB 89 calls for funding of non-diversion alternatives and SB 90 would mandate that no notice can be given to the Secretary of the Interior to divert Gila River Water without first demonstrating that a diversion project can be fully funded.

While SB 90 was found “not germane” for this 30 day session, SB 89 calling for non-diversion options and funding was found to be germane and has been referred to the Conservation Committee.

This session will be the last opportunity for the legislature to speak to the issue of AWSA before the state must declare its intent to pursue or abandon a disastrous diversion of the Gila River to who knows who and who knows where for who knows how much but it would be to the tune of (so far) a cool $350 to $450 million dollars.

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Earth Matters / 2014 NM Legislature – Water Policy Press Conference

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