Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Caution Needed On Basin Plan.(Mountain View)(Editorial)


State Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons has tapped into a water source idea that might benefit Santa Fe and Albuquerque. But it might not be good for the Estancia Basin over the long term.

Lyons has suggested the two cities build a pump and pipeline system that would take water from the Estancia Basin for municipal use. His office would lease water to the cities after swapping state land for water rights owned by Estancia Valley dairy farmers.

He says dairy farmers approached him with the idea.

The problem is, the basin's water level is dropping about 3 feet a year. The State Engineer Office says about 70,000 acre-feet of water is taken from the basin annually; about 30,000 acre-feet is replaced through rain and snow runoff. …

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