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March 2014 Archives

Per a recent article the Albuquerque Journal our Environmental Regulations are being reduced, not improved under the current Governor.

"Groundwater provides the drinking water for 90 percent of the people in New Mexico. For that reason, whether the recently adopted regulation that addresses groundwater pollution by copper mines (commonly referred to as "the Copper Rule") adequately protects New Mexico's groundwater is a very significant issue."

The article goes to explain how this new regulations puts our limited groundwater supply at risk.  Good for cooper mines, bad if you happen to drink water and live anywhere near a mine.


The new policy was bitterly opposed by a group of Silver City residents who live near copper mines; the New Mexico Attorney General's Office; the New Mexico Environmental Law Center; the conservation group Amigos Bravos; and Bill Olson, the contractor hired by the New Mexico Environment Department to help craft the regulations.


New Mexico Attorney General Gary King and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center both have said they plan to appeal the decision.

I urge you to support these efforts and write your representative and senator to ask why we are going backwards and not forwards.  We have more data, more science, and more technologies to deal with these issues.  We only have so much water.

As stated by the Cabinet Secretary this law is stricter than the one in AZ or NV.  That is a good goal.  Let's make it as good as our neighbors, if at least we can't do better.

Doug thank you for sending over the link to the Las Vegas water article.  I totally agree with your comments - "the time to save water is not when the well is close to dry, it's before it is getting close to dry".  Wise words, I hope we take to heart everywhere in the west.

Yes Las Vegas has done some very interesting things to save water (i.e. outlawing new lawns, mandating fountains use recycled water, etc.), but still uses an astonishing amount of water (i.e. 199 GPCD). 

The entire west is in the midst of a multi-year drought that shows no sign of wanting to save us from our water wasting ways.  Las Vegas, Phoenix and South California are all in the bulls-eye. Although it seems like Las Vegas is trying to push to the front of the line with their needs with some very big projects already underway and more on the drawing board.

And although "the city has made major improvements in water efficiency, using about 40 percent less water per person over the past 25 years or so. The problem is the city's population has tripled over that same time, and total water usage is up (though down from its peak about a decade ago--an improvement due at least partially to the economic downturn). It's like a one-ton man patting himself on the back for losing 400 pounds. Great news, but there's still a long way to go."


Additionally, the drought is forcing old agreements to be thrown-away - with neighbors against neighbors, farmers against city dwellers, businesses against everyone.  Water is a finite resource and as more and more of us move to this arid section of the country, these lawsuits will grow in number and size.  Not just in arid states like southern CA, NV, NM, AZ but in states like Texas where it rains in buckets and where well owners historically could pump as they wanted.   


Easy water is no more.  A new day is upon us; one where water conservation, water reuse and water efficiency are topics we all will know what they mean and why they are important.