Norm Gaume, former Interstate Stream Commission Director and one of the foremost critics of the Gila River diversion project, joins Earth Matters co-producer Allyson Siwik in the Gila / Mimbres Community Radio studio for a discussion of the ISC’s Gila River diversion proposal… and its fatal flaws.
Norm has had a distinguished career spanning more than 40 years. He is a retired licensed professional water engineer with a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Civil Engineering from NMSU. He was appointed as Director of the NM Interstate Stream Commission by Governor Gary Johnson and served from from 1997 – 2002. As a consulting engineer and noted expert, he served as a key member of the management and engineering team that implemented Santa Fe’s successful diversion from the Rio Grande for drinking water from 2004 – 2012. Norm testified recently testified during the 2014 legislative session and before the Interstate Stream Commission (see link below) about the fatal flaws in the Gila River diversion proposals.
2014 is an important year for the Gila River. Under the Arizona Water Settlements Act, New Mexico must notify the Secretary of the Interior by December 31 whether it intends to move forward with a Gila River diversion. The NM Interstate Stream Commission and federal Bureau of Reclamation have released preliminary information for a range of diversion, conveyance and storage alternatives that would divert, store and pump water over the Continental Divide for municipal and agricultural use. Project alternatives are estimated to cost $400 – $600M and would irreparably harm the last wild river in the state. These analyses do not demonstrate who will use the water and how much it will cost water users. Is this another example of a speculative and harmful mega-water project that will burden the taxpayer with high costs for little gain?
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Earth Matters / Fatal Flaws – Norm Gaume on AWSA Diversion Proposals