U.S. Water News Online
SANTA FE -- The Santa Fe County Commission and City Council
have reached what they are calling an historic agreement on a water
The goal is to divert water directly from the Rio Grande by 2008.
The outline of a deal for building and operating the new source of
water has been turned over to lawyers for a final draft.
The city and county would share 50-50 in the ownership of the
project under the agreement. Each would put up $30 million for design
and construction and share equally in all other costs of the $120
million that aren't covered by state, federal or other sources.
The diversion project is a new step toward a regional water system
for Santa Fe, which in recent years has enforced water restrictions
and other conservation measures because of the drought.
The meeting began with discussion of a proposal hammered out by
City Councilor David Coss and Commissioner Paul Campos only hours
It was approved with much discussion and a few amendments.
The total amount of water the county could draw through the
diversion project was increased to 1,700 acre feet a year, in
addition to 500 acre feet a year the county buys from the city. It
was not clear where the county would get the additional rights to
water from the river.
The county would reserve the right to drill "in-basin" wells and
to permit additional wells, in consultation with the city.
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