Water

Water

Public decries copper-mining rule

ChinoMine-photo courtesy of gilaresources.info

By John Buchser, Chapter chair

It’s getting difficult to keep track.

This spring, more critical environmental protections were added to the list of those dismantled by state commissions appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez.


Santa Fe’s Maxine S. Goad honored by Sierra Club

Maxine S. Goad - photo by Haeli Miceli

By Susan Martin, chapter political chair

Referred to as the “godmother of New Mexico’s groundwater” by Ron Curry, former Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department (and now EPA Region 6 administrator), Maxine S. Goad was instrumental in the development of the state’s groundwater-quality protection program, working first as a citizen advocate and then as a state employee to formulate the rules that are used today.


WQCC and NMED - Protecting New Mexico Water?

Albuquerque North Valley acequia

Protecting New Mexico Water
Renee Blake, Public News Service-NM

  • Public News Service-NM
  • (01/28/13) SANTA FE, N.M. - The Citizens Coalition (made up of Amigos Bravos, the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club and Caballo Concerned Citizens) is troubled by the direction being taken by the New Mexico Environment Department and the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) in connection with groundwater. Two industries, in particular, are the focus of recent concerns: the dairy industry and the copper industry.


    Environmental Flows Bulletin - Excellent summary of our ongoing drought effects

    Rio Grande near Albuquerque

    The December 2012 issue of the Environmental Flows Bulletin, produced by the Utton Center at the UNM School of Law , has several highly relevant stories on the ongoing drought in the southwest.
    Environmental Flows Bulletin December 2012 issue

    in

    Plan for Middle Rio Grande released

    Expanding programs such as the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program

    By Dave Simon

    The Rio Grande is one of the world’s great rivers. Over 1,800 miles in length, the Rio Grande is the fifth-longest river in North America. More than 500 miles of the Rio Grande form the heart of New Mexico—the state’s primary drainage feature and most valuable natural and cultural resource.


    Copper Flat Mine: It's the water

    The mine will take an inordinate amount of water (perhaps a third of all groundwater used in the county) and not return any to the aquifer because of pollution.
    Copper Flat Mine tempts residents with job promises but would rob county of a resource already in short supply.


    Letter: Better way to address fracking

    Dear Sierran Editor:

    By all accounts that I’ve read, hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) deserves
    its destructive reputation and community outrage. Local elected officials must have the land-use regulatory tools and the political willpower to protect their communities. But these Community Rights Ordinances are not the solution, and so I must disagree with the piece about community rights and fracking in the July/August/September issue.


    State water plan being updated

    NM basins BW.jpg

    By Sig Silber, Northern New Mexico Group Water Chair

    In 2003 the first New Mexico State Water Plan was adopted. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Interstate Stream Commission, in collaboration with the Office of the State Engineer and the water trust board, prepare and implement a comprehensive state water plan. The state water plan shall be a strategic management tool.

    The details of the water-planning statute can be viewed at

  • click here

  • Sierra Club Reaches Legal Settlement Obligating Utility PNM, San Juan Coal Company to Clean Up Water Pollution from Coal Facilities

    Coal Waste

    Sierra Club Calls on PNM to Move New Mexico Beyond Coal to Clean Energy

    Albuquerque, NM -- Today the Sierra Club reached a legal settlement obligating the utility Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) and San Juan Coal Company (a subsidiary of BHP Billiton, Ltd.) to stop ground and surface water contamination that the group alleges comes from toxic coal ash waste and other sources at the San Juan Coal Mine and San Juan Generating Station coal-fired power plant. The settlement obligates the companies to build structures including a “slurry wall” and a recovery trench to prevent contaminants from traveling toward the San Juan River, pumping the pollution instead into a lined storage pond.


    Flow Restored to the Santa Fe River

    Santa Fe River - JB

    By John Buchser, Chapter Chair and River Commission member, a.k.a. River Angel

    Years of work by river commissioners and Santa Fe City staff was rewarded on February 29 by unanimous approval of a river flow bill by the City Council. The bill allows for 'pass-through' of flows through the two reservoirs above Santa Fe of up to 1000 acre-feet of water in a year-round scheme designed to mirror natural flows.


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