San Augustin Water Report
Working to protect water rights on the San Augustin Plains and insure a sustainable New Mexico
For more information and useful resources, SAWR recommends these pages:
© Copyright San Augustin Water Report 2014
"Ground water mining will destroy the sustainability of ranches, towns, and national forests over a very large region."
Carol Pittman ( founding member of the San Augustin Water Coalition)
"...a family of modern-day carpetbaggers wants to pump the lifeblood of a living bioregion, create a water hemorrhage with no thought of tourniquet, despoil a vibrant habitat, rape the Earth-for money, lots of money..."
from "Water Heist in the Plains of San Augustin" by Jack Loeffler, Greenfire Times
The immediate threat to rural water rights and ranchland:
New York water speculators, calling themselves the Augustin Plains Ranch (APR) want to mine -- and export -- 17 billion gallons of ground water each year from rural New Mexico's San Augustin plains. Not only does the San Augustin aquifer provide water for surrounding ranches, communities and wildlife, it helps sustain the Gila River with its communities and its unspoiled wilderness areas. We are committed to halting this water grab in order to prevent it destroying the local ecosystem and economy. You can help too! Join us at one of our events, or make a donation to help support the New Mexico Environmental Law Center's efforts on our behalf.
The San Augustin Water Report is owned by Carol Pittman, with the goal of keeping residents of Catron and Socorro counties, and all of New Mexico, informed about the threat to their lives and lifestyles posed by the Augustin Plains Ranch water mining proposal. This attempted water grab is the subject of ongoing litigation, and parties protesting the plan include ranchers, town and subdivision residents, Native American tribes, the San Augustin Water Coalition, and many others.
the water mining
URGENT Need to Fund Expert Testimony
With a new application before the Office of the State Engineer, we need to gear up for another round of hearings and possible litigation. YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED. We MUST raise at least $25,000 for the purpose of compensating our expert witnesses for their time, travel, and research in testifying before the State Engineer's Office. Please visit our "Help Us Fight" page NOW to make your tax-deductible donation to our expert witness fund. You must act now to help us protect your water rights! We suggest a minimum donation of $25...though of course donations of any size are welcome.
Here are just a few of the reasons why our fight is important to you:
• The APR water mining attempt proposes an UNSUSTAINABLE rate of ground water withdrawal
• Water mining would reduce flow from the aquifer to the Gila and San Francisco rivers, adversely
impacting two national parks and the Gila Wilderness Area, and potential reducing water available
through consumer acequias
• Excessive pumping from a depth of 4,000 feet could cause the water table to drop to a level where
local residents and ranchers could never afford to drill their own wells, effectively leaving them without
• Perched aquifers in the norther part of the plains could collapse as the main aquifer is depleted
Once you have made your donation on our "Help Us Fight" page, please scroll to the bottom of that page for instructions on sending a protest letter to the Office of the State Engineer. Sample letters are provided, along with some facts in brief to help you customize your letter.
Do not let the water miners take our water and destroy our way of life.
The Augustin Plains Ranch LLC continues to apply for water rights without stating a specific use and place of use. Thatís called speculation in water and is illegal. Every citizen of New Mexico should object to this application. Not only does it speculate in water, if approved it will destroy a rural community and the water mined and piped away from the Plains of San Augustin will be prohibitively expensive to people in other communities. Do you want to enrich an international corporation or do you believe that water is a human right to be available to all? This application, if approved, could set a precedent and affect communities throughout New Mexico.
LEGISLATIVE HEARING IN SOCORRO
This heavily attended hearing was held Wednesday, October 26, at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. Carol Pittman was one of those in attendance. She has written a summary for the benefit of those who were not able to be there in person. You can read the summary on Carol's Blog. (Please note there is a CALL TO ACTION included, be sure to take note and send an email to Senator Wirth as requested.) You can also watch James Cherry's video of the meeting on The Informed Cynic website.
APR Water Mining and "impairment" of our water rights
Read Dennis Inman's thoughts on the issue of water rights impairment and sustainable water use here.
YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED