New Mexico Federal District Court

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					Workshop for Local Legislators and Participating Officials
                     May 7, 2008


                                  City of Las Cruces
                                  Doña Ana County
                                  Doña Ana MDWCA
                                  Town of Mesilla
                                  Anthony WSD
                                  Village of Hatch
                                  New Mexico State University
                                  Elephant Butte Irrigation District
The Rio Grande Project
  Settlement of 2008
    New Mexico:
                         1905-1916
  Elephant Butte
 Irrigation District
                       The Rio Grande
       (EBID)
90,640 acres (57%)         Project

                     El Paso County Water
                   Improvement District No. 1
                           (EPCWID)
                       69,010 acres (43%)




  Mexico
  60,000 AF
 1938 – The Rio
 Grande Compact
• Apportions the water of
  the Rio Grande among                   Otowi
  Colorado, New Mexico,
  and Texas
  – Federal government
    operated the Rio Grande
    Project as a single unit    Compact NM


  – Entire Rio Grande Project   Compact TX



    included in Texas
  – No provision for
    apportioning water within
    the Rio Grande Project
         Irrigation Hydrologic Cycle:
         Plan View
                                                                          Downstream
               Reservoir                 Diversion                   Rio Grande Users




                           Main Canals

                                           Laterals
                                                                   Drains
                                                      Deliveries

Release/Diversion
Conveyance/Distribution
Delivery (Farm Turnout)
Return Flows
            Post-Compact Problems
• 1951-1978 – Persistent recurring drought

   – Rio Grande Project farmers respond to short water supply by
     developing groundwater pumping capacity

   – D1 and D2 curves developed for future allocation to EBID, EPCWID,
     and Mexico
                              1,000,000

                               900,000

                               800,000
                                                    D2 - Divert 713 kAF
                               700,000
     Delivery/Diversion, AF




                               600,000
                                                          Delivery
                                                          D1
                               500,000




                                                                                           Release 600 kAF
                                                          Diversion
                                                          D2
                               400,000
                                              D1 - Deliver 393 kAF
                               300,000

                               200,000

                               100,000

                                     0
                                          0   100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 600,000 700,000 800,000
                                                                      Release, AF
               Post-Reclamation
• 1979 - 80 – Districts pays off construction loans
   – Reclamation contractually obligated to develop allocation and
     operating plan for Project

• 1980 – City of El Paso applied for groundwater well
  permits in New Mexico portion of Mesilla Bolson
   – State of New Mexico denies application
   – Ensuing lawsuit by El Paso dismissed in 1991

• 1979-2002 – Full allocations to EBID, EPCWID, and
  Mexico

• 1997 – 2001 Reclamation files Quiet Title Suit
   –   EPCWID files cross claim
   –   Trilateral negotiations begin in 1998, collapse in 2000
   –   Suit dismissed in 2001
   –   EBID files suit in Federal District Court in Albuquerque
   Problem: Release to diversion hydrology altered by
         groundwater pumping in New Mexico


               Diversion/Conveyance

                          Crop
         Irrigation      Water
 Canal
                           Use
                      Field
Seepage                          Drain          Rio
                                               Grande
                      Drainage        Return
               Well                    Flow
Groundwater
      Return of Drought

• 2003 – After 24 years of full supply,
  drought returns
• 2003 – 2006 – Reclamation employs “ad
  hoc” allocation method
  – Mexico’s allocation based on usable water in
    Project storage
  – Remaining diversion divided between EBID
    and EPCWID in 57%/43% proportions,
    respectively
      Thousands
                             Visualizing Groundwater Impacts
                  1200


                  1000


                   800
Div




                   600


                   400                                                        D2
                                                                              1938-1950
                   200                                                        1951-1978
                                                                              1979-2002
                                                                              2003-2007
                     0
                         0    100   200   300   400         500   600   700   800     900
                                                                               Thousands

                                                      Rel
      Thousands
                             Visualizing Groundwater Impacts
                  1200
      Year    Release          D2 Diversion   Actual Diversion   Deviation
      2003    363,963            396,939          350,231         -46,708
         1000 399,576
      2004                       444,583          355,000         -89,583
      2005    659,000            791,640          639,230        -152,410
      2006    433,000            489,297          415,680         -73,617
      2007    636,136            761,052          632,872        -128,181
                   800


                                                                              07   05
Div




                   600


                   400
                                                                 06
                                                        03 04
                   200
                                                                                         D2

                                                                                         2003-2007
                     0
                         0    100     200        300       400         500   600   700   800     900
                                                                                          Thousands

                                                                 Rel
    Dangers of Groundwater
   Depletions of Surface Water
• Kansas v. Colorado on the Arkansas River



• Texas v. New Mexico on the Pecos River
  – $15M settlement, $180M compliance cost


• Rio Grande much higher value resource
        Escalating Tensions
• 2006 – (April) EBID proposes D3 allocation
  method, tying EPCWID and Mexico allocations
  to Project Release, based on D1/D2
• Inconsistent implementation by U.S. Bureau of
  Reclamation
• 2007 – EPCWID files suit in federal district court
  in Texas based on Reclamation’s allocation and
  carryover issues
• Litigation appears inevitable
February 14, 2008


    • January 2008 – Last-ditch attempt to
      negotiate allocation and operating
      agreement
        – Mediated by Texas Compact Commissioner
          Pat Gordon
        – Major issues addressed January 21 and 22
        – Details worked out January 23 to February 13
    Highlights of the Agreement
• Annual Allocation based on D3 procedure (D1 basis for
  Mexico allocation, D2 basis for El Paso #1 allocation)

• 1951-78 level of groundwater pumping grandfathered in

• EBID benefits from Project supply in excess of D2 level if
  release is greater than 600 kAF

• Carryover equal to 60 percent of a full allocation may be
  accumulated by each district (306 kAF for EBID, 233
  kAF for EPCWID)

• Excess carryover goes into account of other district

• Mexico’s allocation based on actual release
     Key Points of Compromise
• EPCWID wanted and got carryover, protection from impacts
  of excessive groundwater pumping in New Mexico

• EBID wanted and got D3 as basis for allocation of Project
  Water regardless of origin, and accountability from
  Reclamation

• EBID and EPCWID dismiss their lawsuits

• Reclamation will conduct an internal review of the
  operations of the El Paso Field Office under the Managing
  for Excellence program

• Allocation and operating procedures are specifically
  codified, subject to change by consensus agreement
          Benefits
• Massive court, settlement, and
  compliance costs avoided
• Cost to State of New Mexico:
  $0.00
• Potential for LRG to develop
  innovative conjunctive
  management of water resources
• Resources can be focused on
  improving productivity rather than
  litigation
• Local solution to local problem
• LRG water supply is as certain as
  it can be
              What’s Next?
• Negotiations with State of New Mexico over
  conjunctive management of surface water and
  groundwater


• Continuing coordination among water use sectors
  – Protect existing equities and beneficial use
  – Plan for and support economic development and
    changing use

• Storm water management and capture
  – Address existing flood control deficiencies
  – Take advantage of opportunity for new water
   LRGWUO’s Flood – Related
         Initiatives
• Need continued Dam Safety – Pilot Project
  – Training, inspection, inundation mapping,
    emergency response planning
  – Building local organizational and institutional
    infrastructure

• Need an Early Warning System
  – National Weather Service NEXRAD
  – Upper watershed and flow instrumentation
     • Pilot project in Placitas (Hatch), Rincon, and
       Picacho Arroyos
    LRGWUO’s Flood – Related
      Initiatives Continued…
• Need a Storm Water Capture and Use program
  – Controlled release from dams to river, canals, drains,
    Municipal &Industrial treatment
  – Offset release from Caballo Reservoir
  – Infiltration for aquifer recharge
  – Environmental enhancements for river restoration
  – Water quality enhancements – E. Coli mitigation
  – Sediment management
  – Redesign of flood control infrastructure
  – Institutional/legal implications

• Need an Aquifer Storage and Recovery program
  Municipal and Industrial Surface
    Water Treatment Initiatives
• Village of Hatch – Rincon Valley
• Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water
  Consumers Association – North Valley
• City of Las Cruces
• Mesquite Mutual Domestic Water
  Consumers Association – South Valley
  Wastewater Reclamation and
       Reuse Initiatives
• City of Las Cruces
• Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water
  Consumers Association – North Valley
• Village of Hatch – Rincon Valley
• Doña Ana County
                      Funding Requests
Item                                                                 Subtotal        Total
Flood - Related Initiatives                                                            $3,050,000
   Early Warning System                                                  $650,000
   Dam Safety Center                                                     $500,000
   Critical Flood Assessment and Planning                                $500,000
   Storm Water Capture and Use Planning                                 $1,400,000
Aquifer Storage and Recovery Pilot Project                               $575,300      $575,300
M&I Surface Water Treatment                                                          $15,200,000
   Village of Hatch                                                     $200,000
   Doña Ana MDWCA                                                     $15,000,000
   City of Las Cruces - Comprehensive Feasibility Rpt Fully Funded             $0             $0
   Mesquite MDWCA
Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse Initiatives                                         $22,200,000
   City of Las Cruces - Fully Funded                                           $0             $0
   Doña Ana MDWCA                                                     $20,000,000
   Village of Hatch                                                    $2,000,000
   Doña Ana County                                                      $200,000

TOTAL                                                                                $41,025,300
Questions?

				
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