Navajo President Ben Shelley has declared a state of emergency for drought conditions on the Navajo Nation. Officials are concerned ongoing drought may be creating unsafe conditions for people who need drinkable water.
With drought affecting much of the southwest, the Navajo Nation is working to bring water to it's citizens with the tribal government recently approving over $8-million dollars for water infrastructure projects. The Navajo Nation is roughly the size of West Virginia, has a population of around 170,000 people, and much of the Nations citizens are in need of water.
The land of enchantment is rich in many natural resources. Water, however, isn't one of them. And while higher prices have a way of persuading people to consume less, would raising water rates cause New Mexicans to turn off their spigots?
A legal battle over water in the lower Rio Grande has New Mexico accusing the federal government of trying to take control of the state’s groundwater.
In a filing in the Third District Court in Las Cruces recently, the Bureau of Reclamation said it should be able to pump groundwater when it needs to deliver water in the Rio Grande to downstream users, such as farmers.
That raised the hackles of New Mexico state legislators, and others, including the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer. That office controls the state’s groundwater.
A study by the federal government shows that New Mexico is expected to see its population that uses the Colorado River Basin for water grow from nearly 1.5 million people today to between 2 million and 3 million by 2060.
That's according to the latest data from a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation study.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/OhHnQI) that New Mexico and the other states that depend on the Colorado River Basin for water face a growing gap between how much water nature provides and how much people want to use.
Audubon New Mexico released a report on the heels of a visit here by Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar. The study argues that restoring natural streamflows will bring environmental and economic benefits.
Dams, reservoirs, and levees are all tools used to alter the natural flow of a river for crop irrigation, drinking water and industrial use. The benefits are substantial. But they also create major changes to the natural flow pattern of New Mexico’s rivers and streams.
Navajo lawmakers have rejected a settlement that recognizes the tribe's rights to water from the Little Colorado River basin.
The Tribal Council voted 15-6 against the settlement Thursday during a special session in Window Rock.
U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl had introduced legislation to approve the settlement, but it needed the blessing of the Navajo and Hopi tribes to move forward. Kyl has said the settlement would address water needs on the reservations and provide certainty of the water supply for off-reservation communities.
The water utility in Albuquerque inadvertently diverted farmers' irrigation water from the Rio Grande for more than a week in late June and used it for the city's drinking water supplies.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/MXVOs1) that John Stomp, chief operating officer of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility, acknowledged the improper diversions and agreed to pay back the farmers.
The water inside Montezuma Well-part of the Montezuma Castle Monument near Rimrock, Arizona- is ten to thirteen THOUSAND years old. The Arizona Water Company operates two commercial wells near the monument and now another water company wants to open their own high-production well just 300 feet from the boundaries of the national park.