Questions about the Gila Diversion

In the Colorado River Basin writ large, 14,000 acre feet of water is a very small rounding error – less than one tenth of one percent of the river’s flow. But the New Mexico discussion over the possibility of a diversion high in the watershed of the Gila River in New Mexico, raises fascinating questions about what could be one of the last big pieces of water-moving infrastructure in the basin. My colleague Lauren Villagran in the Albuquerque Journal’s Las Cruces bureau had an interesting piece in the morning paper (behind surveywall) looking at the drive to develop the water, even though we don’t know how much it will cost, who will pay for it, or how the water will be used:

“You would think that would get decided before it gets built, because you would think (the beneficiaries) would have to say they are willing to pay, especially if it’s a for-profit company,” said Norman Gaume, a former director of the Interstate Stream Commission.