How resentment of Arizona drives New Mexico water policy

If we’re not allowed to divert some of this water, then Arizona continues to get it all, and they become wealthier and wealthier as time goes by. That’s Darr Shannon, head of the government entity hoping to build a diversion to take water out of New Mexico’s bits of the Gila River. From a fascinating …

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Albuquerque’s water use continues to decline

The decoupling between water use and economic and population growth continues in Albuquerque, where we’ve cut per capita water use by more than half since the mid-1990s: Albuquerque endured a hot, dry summer this year. Temperatures are still above average, and the monsoon season never made a big splash. But that hasn’t stopped the city …

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The repartimiento – a deep history of sharing water

Preparing for the fall class I co-teach, I was sitting out by the shady fountain in the old Zimmerman Library courtyard this morning, when I had occasion to spill carne adovada from my breakfast burrito on my copy of Jose Rivera’s book chapter on “The historical role of acequias and agriculture“. (Technically it’s my co-instructor …

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Resilience and my little Rio Grande sandbar island

Since early spring, I’ve taken my early morning bike ride through downtown Albuquerque to the old Route 66 crossing of the Rio Grande. Every time, I’ve stopped to check out this little sandbar island, anchored by a tenacious community of willows. I started watching closely after I saw a pair of geese, frantic as the …

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New Mexico’s shrinking Gila River diversion proposal shrinks some more

The 1946 Bureau of Reclamation report projecting future development of the Colorado River – “A Natural Menace Becomes a National Resources” was its subtitle – included a picture of Hoover Dam with the caption: “World’s highest dam only partly harnesses the wild Colorado River.” The report laid out a staggeringly ambitious plan for the rest …

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