Please ask the governor to oppose harmful and expensive diversion of the Gila River

Golden Eagle and Raven © Mary Katherine Ray

The Gila River is New Mexico’s last free-flowing river, rich in biological diversity and cultural history. But an expensive proposed project threatens it.

In 2004, Congress passed the Arizona Water Settlements Act, which authorized diversion of the Gila River if New Mexico agreed to buy water from Arizona to replace what we take out of the river.

Click here to ask Gov. Martinez not to approve an expensive and harmful Gila River diversion: http://bit.ly/1hT1N1A

The Arizona Water Settlements Act provided $66 million for projects to meet community water needs and a perverse incentive of up to $62 million more if New Mexico elects to divert the Gila River.

But proposed Gila diversion projects may cost $300 million to $500 million, leaving New Mexico taxpayers responsible for the balance — $200 million to $400 million.

Southwest New Mexico’s future water needs can be met at a lower price through non-diversion projects, such as municipal and agricultural conservation, groundwater management, effluent reuse and watershed restoration. These projects would save twice the water that diversion would provide, and they cost much less.

A Gila River diversion project is unnecessary and expensive, and it will harm the river. An overwhelming majority of New Mexicans believe we should invest in community water-conservation projects and protect the Gila River for people, wildlife and future generations.

Please ask Gov. Susana Martinez to support cost-effective non-diversion alternatives to meet New Mexico’s water needs: http://bit.ly/1hT1N1A

For more information and to find out how you can help, please go to protectthegila.org