Water-saving successes in El Paso and Santa Fe

Rainwater Harvesting System (photo by Janet Thew)

By Mike Weinberg, Chapter Water Chair

We all by now have heard that worldwide shortages of fresh water are expected in the coming decades due to increased demand from an ever-growing global population and anticipated drying of the earth’s climate.

Development of new water supplies and better management of existing sources will be necessary in order to meet the challenges that lie ahead. We can all help by conserving this precious resource.

How might climate change affect New Mexico?

By Mona Blaber

Every study released lately seems to have worse news about climate change, but it’s hard to translate the figures and statistics into any kind of idea of how life will change in New Mexico, or any region, in the coming decades. I asked University of New Mexico Earth and Planetary Sciences professor David Gutzler, who has researched climate variability in the West, about what these predictions mean for us.

Ten Gallons per Day

Pecos Falls

Louise Pape, Vice Chair of the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission and Sierra Club member, has created a website that explains how to reduce personal water consumption to ten gallons per day. Check it out.

Ten Gallons a Day by Louise Pape

New Water Issues Chair Mike Weinberg

A big welcome to Mike Weinberg, a hydrogeologist from Chama. His background of 20 years as professional engineer in Florida may seem like a mismatch for the southwest. Assessing Florida's shallow aquifers has given Mike practical experience in managing what we will also likely see lots more of in New Mexico: We are rapidly pumping freshwater aquifers at unsustainable levels. The frequent result is that nearby mineral-laden water flows to mix with freshwater, contaminating what freshwater is left.


An Inconvenient Adjudication Impacting Water Rights on the Rio Grande

Elephant Butte Dam 4

Initial Article Published in the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Sierran in the March-April 2010 Issue. This write up includes the initial article plus subsequent updates. For further information contact Sigmund Silber ssilber1@juno.com
Editor's note:This is a consolidation of ongoing updates. Click on update link to go directly to that section


Home Water Conservation

Stewart Lake by DVW

Over the past three years, our family has consumed 38% less water than the prior owners of our house. During this same time period, the neighbor’s water consumption has been 9 times our water consumption in a house of similar size. Learn what you can do.

NM Water Quality Commission Approves Safeguards for Clean Water

December 15 – The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) today passed New Mexico’s first industry-specific regulations for the dairy industry. The new regulations will govern dairy waste pollution in ground water. The decision marks the end of a two-year process begun by the dairy industry itself, which asked for industry-specific regulations during the 2009 New Mexico legislative session.

“These regulations are way overdue”, said Jerry Nivens of Caballo Concerned Citizens. “This is a victory for clean water.”

Sarah’s Green Tip of the Week - Save Water

Sarah is a second grader in Las Cruces who is concerned enough about the effects that climate change will have on the planet that she is taking action to do something about it. Her principal agreed to let her regularly broadcast her “Green Tip of the Week” to the school about the problem and how kids can help. We think grownups can help, too, so we are pleased to introduce Sarah’s Green Tips here:

by Sarah, age 8
Hi, everyone. I’m Sarah, with your Green Tip of the Week.

Today’s green tip is Water is Life.

Club Leads Effort to Regulate Coal Combustion Waste in NM

Coal Waste

Update 12/2- Members from 15 nation-wide organizations, including the Sierra Club, have sent more than 250,000 letters to the EPA in support of strong controls on Coal Combustion Waste.

Santa Fe – August 6 - Speaking through 13 of New Mexico’s most representative advocacy groups, New Mexicans are asking Governor Richardson to support strong, Federal regulation of Coal Combustion Waste (CCW). New Mexico ranks 10th in the nation for CCW production with an amazing 6.8 million tons dumped from coal fired electric power generation in San Juan and McKinley Counties annually.

Santa Fe River Restoration - Help Plant Vegetation on October 30

Santa Fe River - JB

The City of Santa Fe is releasing an estimated $3.6M contract for bid. The majority of the contract is restoration of the Santa Fe River between Camino Alire and Frenchy's Field (adjacent to the Commons where many of the Sierra Club's social events are held).

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