Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Repayment For Water Debated.

Byline: Steve Shoup Journal Staff Writer

City Urged To Buy Surface Rights Now

Lawyers debating Rio Rancho's request to double the amount of water it can pump out of the ground scrapped Friday over how the city should pay back some water.

At issue is a complex cycle, in which some water in the Rio Grande trickles deep into the ground, eventually refilling the aquifer. Pulling water out of a well can ultimately take water from the river.

Rio Rancho is currently permitted to take up to 12,000 acre-feet, or 3.9 billion gallons, a year from its 19 wells. Now the city is asking the Office of State Engineer, which has jurisdiction over wells and ground water in the state, to let it have a dozen new wells and twice the water. The city wants the water to supply continuing population and commercial growth. …

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