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 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:37 am 
My posting of a week ago was about an alternative on Gila River diversion (and it's peripatetic no where trip to lawyer's offices) and another idea floated by Van Clothier: $1000 grant for the 70,000 who live in: Catron; Grant; Hidalgo; Luna counties; 70 MILLION AT $1000 PER HOUSEHOLD FOR traditional water harvesting. Runoff of rain water from roofs of houses; barns; other buildings, into water barrels; creation of small wet lands off some smidgen of traditional rain water in what might be termed, "cienegas" or "low ground" where methods could be made to "harvest" that water, or make a road more passable during the rainy season (saving money on gasoline clearing debris). Watering gardens would be wonderful if from free runoff. For those who think a portion of a settlement ($1000 each household), they can sign a waiver to let it go to someone else. How about small neighborhoods that come together and develop a neighborhood method of harvesting every inch of rainwater that comes down or snow fall, as well.
Our counties could become models for other cities to study.
New Mexico will see one effect of global climate change:
increased populations for emigrants coming from east and west. Not in our life times. But having a water harvesting infrastructure that begins now, oh, surely.
Think of the book & film: "DUNE."
In America today, we have finally gotten a "crazy king" many others have had.
Our "crazy King Donald" nonetheless, has thousands of nuclear warheads.
Those will be there.
As he is pushed into the forefront of Russia gate, he will get crazier. As such, will He and Congress get behind more water harvesting.
Evangelicals & Christians of other groups might want to look at the phrase, attribuited to the Bible:
"And the rain falls on the just and the unjust."
We are at that stage. This is NOT a normal SW drought. It is the leading edge of global climate change for our part of the country.
Time to Act: demand the Gila River Commission set up such a program of rainwater harvesting before lawyers get it all ... to pxxx on golf course fairways.


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 Author: mimbresgranny
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:19 pm 
Sorry I missed your previous post. This is a great idea if we could get the Cap to listen. One concern, however, is the existing limitations on the west side of the Continental Divide. The theory is that the rain runnoff belongs to the River. This view has been successfully challenged in Colorado but is still part of our rules. I would love to see us manage our water resource better.

Also, while I agree with your assessment of our current leader, this conversation could go further without those kinds of inclusions. I would hope everyone who are seeking water solutions in the Gila Valley will join the conversation. This problem is far bigger than any one President and as you noted may take generations to fully resolve. If we are to get the attention of CAP and the ISWA, we need a unified voice.

In Unity


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 Author: MacAlan
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:35 pm 
I don't know the law, but it is demonstrable that river flows and groundwater levels increase when water is slowed, spread, and soaked into the ground.


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 Author: mimbresgranny
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:26 pm 
I don't know the rules either so someone from there would have to weigh in. It is my understanding that a new homeowner must purchase additional water rights in order to water an outside garden, that even with a household well they are not allowed to have an outside faucet, and that they are not allowed to capture rain water from their roof. The next question is about landscape manipulation to capture rain runoff. I believe I have heard of some people doing that but I don't know if there was any push back.

Yes many of us know that these restrictions do little to aid the river or the well water supply but whenever these rules were made (some years before I was property shopping in 2002) this was the general "wisdom." I believe such rules were demonstrated to be erroneous by a research project in Colorado and they were going to court but I do not know the outcome.


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 Author: mimbresgranny
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:11 am 
There is another issue I have been unable to clarify...
As I read the original AWSA "agreement" the number of acres to be irrigated was set in stone along with the number of acre feet of water we were allowed to utilize. These numbers were established by the runoff and the acres under irrigation at the time of the decision... some time in the 1950s.

That was a time of low water flow due to a dry period and when many of the able bodied men of the area were off fighting the Korean War. You may have heard about the water flow part but were you aware that many of the family farms of the time were not being irrigated because the men were away?

It is my understanding that this decision precluded any additional land to ever be irrigated again. That left the few remaining farms and the cattle ranch "tanks." I have not been able to find if any of the subsequent legal decisions had changed those limits. Once the last decision determined that the Gila water actually belonged to the Indigenous Communities in Arizona, we were given an option to buy back some of the original settlement water flow, but of course, only by replacing it from another source. There was nothing about how that water is to be used and the CAP is not working to increase irrigated acreage, only to "store excess runoff for future use of existing users or to ship by pipeline somewhere else, so I assume that the prohibition on irrigating more land was not changed.

If my assumption is correct, the CAP is making promises it cannot keep. But also, the need to purchase another's well rights to water a garden may be a "work around" result of that initial ruling exchanging one acre for another. And if the rain fall is considered belonging to the River, then any effort to irrigate land not established in the original AWSA would not be legal. I hope I an wrong. I believe strongly in the promise of Permaculture and Stream Dynamics practices to save our lands from desertification.


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