Friday, May 27, 2016
Surface Water Quality Bureau UTILITY OPERATOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission’s Utility Operators Certification Advisory Board Meeting ________________________________________ LEGAL NOTICE Notice is hereby given that the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission’s Utility Operators Certification Advisory Board will convene a meeting on Friday, June 10th, 2016 beginning at 9:00 a.m. to discuss pending and new matters. The meeting will be held at The New Mexico Environment Department’s District 1 Office, 121 Tijeras Avenue NE, Suite 1000, Albuquerque, NM 87102. The meeting will be in the Alameda Conference Room. Please contact Anne Keller, Utility Operator Certification Program at 505-222-9575 for further information. A copy of the final agenda will be posted on the Utility Operator Certification Program webpage under the “Special Announcements” section 72-hours prior to the meeting (https://www.env.nm.gov/swqb/UOCP/). All interested individuals are encouraged to attend. If you are an individual with a disability and you require assistance or an auxiliary aid, (e.g., sign language interpreter), to participate in any aspect of this process, please contact Juan Carlos Borrego by May 3, 2016. Mr. Borrego’s telephone number is 505-827-0424. He is the Chief of the Personnel Services Bureau, New Mexico Environment Department, P.O. Box 5469, 1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502. (TDD or TDY users please access his number via the New Mexico Relay Network at 1-800-659-8331). Thank you. ________________________________________ Utility Operator Certification Program April Salazar (505) 827-2802 firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, May 20, 2016
I want to thank you for coming to the meeting today I think it was productive. We did not finish what we started. Look at Section 2 and 8 and be prepared to make comments. We set another meeting for June 10, 2016 at 10:00-1:00 at the Community Building 3402 S 13th St, Artesia, NM.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Not so Wet New Mexico’s water plans predict supply decline at the regional level but don’t tackle statewide strategy
PVWUO meets tomorrow May 20th at 9:00 Eddy County far Community Center Artesia Not so Wet New Mexico’s water plans predict supply decline at the regional level but don’t tackle statewide strategy May 18, 2016, 12:00 am By Laura Paskus People trying to survive in this arid landscape have spent thousands of years—some flush with rain and snow, others parched—hoping that the next season will allow fields and villages to survive. Or maybe even flourish. Whether it was the drought of the 12th century that contributed to migrations out of Chaco Canyon or the dry years that desiccated ranches and farms in the 1930s and ’50s, people here in New Mexico have probably always watched the skies and prayed for rain. And while tree ring data or abandoned farmsteads trace the stories of past droughts, online PDFs full of graphs, tables and planning ideas offer clues to the difficulties—or opportunities—that might lie ahead. This year, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission released 16 regional water plans. Each draft paints a localized picture of the next 40 years—how much water there may be, whether the population will rise or fall and if supplies can meet demands. Some regions are worse off than others. The economy in northeastern New Mexico hasn’t yet recovered from drought that began in 2009. In southern Curry County, people haul water in places where wells have dried. Surface water is already scarce in the northwest; now, groundwater levels are declining, too. In the past 30 years, aquifers beneath Gallup and nearby communities have dropped several hundred feet. And in many places, like the Middle and Lower Rio Grande, river waters are already over-allocated. Further downstream from the Canyon Road treatment plant, water fans out for wildlife habitat and recreation along a paved trail. Laura Paskus But even as surface and groundwater supplies in many places are projected to decline even further, no one seems sure—and the state’s not saying—how all these regional plans will fit into one comprehensive plan to envision how New Mexico might look in 2060. “Other than the fact that we have a common technical platform, I don’t think we have any idea what they’re going to do with the state water plan,” says Conci Bokum, a local expert who has long worked on regional water planning in the Santa Fe area. The state did not allow water planning staff to answer questions on the record about the plans, nor did Interstate Stream Commission Director Deborah Dixon respond to interview requests. As for how, or if, the state will incorporate the regional plans into a statewide approach, Public Information Officer Melissa Dosher wrote in an email that the planning phase has begun and will continue into 2017. CALL TO COMBINE FORCES IN SF Considering the dire data for many areas, Santa Fe is in comparatively good shape. The City Different lies within the Jemez y Sangre planning region, which includes Los Alamos County and parts of Santa Fe and Rio Arriba counties. The recent planning effort involved the three counties, the cities of Santa Fe and Española, water users associations, acequia users, environmental and business groups, federal and state agencies and six pueblos. Today, about 147,000 people use more than 90,000 acre-feet of water in the region each year. Most of that water comes from the Rio Grande, the Chama and the Santa Fe River; about 20,000 acre-feet is pumped each year from underground aquifers. Farms are the biggest water users: Irrigated agriculture diverts 73 percent of the region’s entire water supply. As with all the regions, state workers and contractors wrote the bulk of the plan—supplying water information, population forecasts, and future demand scenarios—while locals suggested ideas to address the gap between future supply and demand. Many solutions center around increasing efficiency, improving infrastructure and drilling new groundwater wells. Other proposals call for restoring watershed conditions and reusing effluent water. The Jemez y Sangre region is highly vulnerable to drought, which can put surface supplies at risk. That means planning for climate change is critical. “Water has always been a big issue in our area,” says Santa Fe County Commissioner Kathy Holian, one of the steering committee’s four chairs. “But as climate change begins to be felt more and more—and in a variety of ways—it’s even more important for us to do planning so that we can help shield people in our communities from the effects of drought or really heavy rainstorms.” Holian hopes the public will weigh in on the draft plan, especially when it comes to a proposal to regionalize the city and county into one water utility, similar to the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority. The two entities worked together in the past to build the Buckman Direct Diversion Project on the Rio Grande. “It is a slightly controversial topic,” she says. “The county is open to that, but the city, as far as I can determine, is not really interested in going there at this point.” Santa Fe might also continue buying agricultural water rights and transferring them to municipal use. That’s one way to close the gap, especially since ag is the predominant water user in the area. “I myself am very interested in encouraging more local agriculture, not less,” says Holian. “So I really want to get feedback on that particular issue.” - See more at: http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-11966-not-so-wet.html#sthash.TPDHOXPi.gEISU1P5.dpuf
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
USDA Announces $10.7 Million Available For Critical Water Research WASHINGTON, May 17, 2016 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $10.7 million in funding for research that could solve critical water problems in rural and agricultural watersheds across the United States. This funding is available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). "Finding solutions for dealing water scarcity as well as maintaining water quality is critical for communities across the country and for the men and women who raise the food we eat," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Better water management practices, tools and technologies will make a difference for farmers, ranchers, and foresters who are constantly adapting to less predictable and more severe weather patterns." Established by the 2008 Farm Bill and re-authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, AFRI is the nation's premier competitive, peer-reviewed grants program for fundamental and applied agricultural sciences. In the seven years since AFRI was established, the program has led to true innovations and ground-breaking discoveries in agriculture to combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate the impacts of climate variability and enhance resiliency of our food systems, and ensure food safety. This round of funding is offered through the AFRI Water for Agriculture Challenge Area, which funds projects that tackle critical water issues by developing both regional systems for the sustainable use and reuse, flow and management of water, and that address water issues focused on production and environmental sustainability efforts at the watershed and farm scale. There is also a focus on solutions for conserving higher quality water and understanding human behavior and its influence on decision making for agricultural water use in the Fiscal Year 2016 projects. To date, more than $20.5 million in research, education and extension grants have been awarded through AFRI's Water for Agriculture Challenge Area. Examples of previously funded projects include a grant for the University of Nevada-Reno's Coordinated Agricultural Project to assess the impacts of climate change on future water supplies and enhance the climate resiliency of tribal agriculture. Also, Clemson University is integrating remote sensing products and weather forecast information for farmers and growers to address the best products, increase agricultural drought indices, and develop an agricultural drought forecasting model to provide near real-time feedback. Applications are due August 4. See the request for applications for more information. More information about USDA's work to mitigate climate change can be found in the Department's most recent entry on Medium, How Food and Forestry Are Adapting to a Changing Climate. Science funded by AFRI is vital to meeting food, fiber, and fuel demands as the world's population is projected to exceed nine billion by 2050 and natural resources are stressed under a changing climate. In addition, AFRI programs help develop new technologies and a workforce that will advance our national security, our energy self-sufficiency, and the health of Americans. The President's 2017 budget request proposes to fully fund AFRI for $700 million; this amount is the full funding level authorized by Congress when it established AFRI in the 2008 Farm Bill. Since 2009, NIFA has invested in and advanced innovative and transformative initiatives to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA's integrated research, education, and extension programs, supporting the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel, have resulted in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries. To learn more about NIFA's impact on agricultural science, visit www.nifa.usda.gov/impacts, sign up for email updates, or follow us on Twitter @usda_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Because some of the information got out late and some have expressed the need for more time to work through their comments is there a desire to postpone the meeting sechduled for Fri to a date in June. See the link to a doodle poll and please respond before 10:00 am 17 May. http://doodle.com/poll/fi7t5dnag7n3k8eb
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Pecos Valley Water Users Organization Meeting Minutes 9:00 am April 8th, 2016 Eddy County Fairgrounds, Artesia, NM Meeting Facilitator: Woods Houghton In attendance: Woods Houghton Carlsbad SWCD; Roger Buckley City of Roswell; Jackie Powell Lincoln County; Cheryl Griffith Lakewood Rancher; Aron Balok PVACD; Wade Holdeman Fort Sumner Irrigation District; Aspen Achen DeBaca CES; J.R. Baumann Village of Ruidoso; Eric Boyda Village of Ruidoso; Dale Ballard CID; Pete Heraden US Forrest Service; Lex Klein Hope Community Ditch; Morgan Nelson Chaves County Flood; Dick Smith PVACD Visitors: Laila Sturgis Amec Foster Wheeler (NM ISC); Hannah Riseley-White NM ISC; Brent Ellington NMISC 1) Call to order at 9:00 2) Sign in / Introduction 3) Old Business a) Dick Smith moved and Aron Balok second to accept meeting minutes for March 11th 2016. Motion passed. b) Treasury report given by Woods Houghton $10,049.19. c) Woods Houghton voiced his concern that there are a lot of errors in the technical report. d) Cheryl Griffith moved that in the draft under Alternative #2, Managed Well Field Operations the incorrect sentence in parenthesis in the second paragraph, “(even mentioning that exceedingly high groundwater was problematic for crops in some areas.)” be removed and to add, “Cease operations until a strategy to minimize impact is developed”. Dick Smith second. After a lengthy discussion the Motion passed. Aaron Balok and Dale Ballard both voted against the motion. Dale Ballard reserved the right to submit a descending opinion in writing for conclusion. e) Cheryl Griffith brought up the issue that the Enhanced Water Right Administration and Water Right Abandonment Monitoring were to be combined on the draft as per the meeting minutes. 4) New Business a) Hannah wanted to know what priorities are for the group. Keeping the basin in balance, managed well field operations and implications, watershed management, preventing transfers of water out of the basin, better analysis of in basin transfers, identify new sources of water, including brackish and produced water, update old infrastructure for both irrigation, municipal and industrial uses, program to specifically identify regulatory obstacles and make subsequent recommendations were all discussed however there were no motions made and none passed. 5) Open Discussion: a) Aspen Achen reported that the demographic and economic trends for De Baca County are incorrect. The Clinic is reported to be closed when it is actually thriving. It states that a good deal of agriculture land in De Baca County is fallow which is incorrect. It reports that agriculture is expected to drop 80% by 2020 when historically it has stayed steady. It does not report that cattle populations are increasing and only decreased due to the drought. It reports that livestock watering usage is only at 60% which is also incorrect. It states other issues such as residents are anti-growth which could adversely affect funding for the county. Population is reported to decrease when they have had to hire new teachers due to new growth in those age groups. A lot of the information came from interviewing a very few people which does not make it factual. Aspen Achen is going to work with Hannah Riseley-White to get the information corrected. b) Aron Balok motioned and Cheryl Griffith second that we meet at the Ag Science Center May 13th from 9:00am till 2:00pm to work on comments. Motion passed. c) Hannah Riseley-White reported the following; she will have Melissa Dozier get with Woods Houghton to get the word out about public comments. The group is going to read the update to the water plan and be prepared with comments for the meeting on the 13th. Laila Sturgis is going to email a table to capture the comments and the pdf of the comment form. Laila Sturgis is also going to update the draft and fix the narrative section and email to the group by May 9th. May 13th the group will meet to compile the steering committee comments. May 20th the group will meet with ISC to complete. d) Roger Buckley moved and Cheryl Griffith second to meet at 9:00am on May 20th at the Eddy County Fairgrounds. 6) Adjournment 11:25
Monday, May 2, 2016
WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition Registration Now Open for WSI 2016 “Early Bird” Rate of $335 Available Through June 2 Beginning today, you are invited to register for the 9th Annual WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition, scheduled for October 5-7, at the South Point Hotel and Conference Center in Las Vegas. Recognized as the world’s pre-eminent urban water efficiency conference, WSI is offering an “early bird” registration fee of $335 at WaterSmartInnovations.com through 5 p.m. PST on Thursday, June 2. Beginning Friday, June 3, the full conference registration fee will be $395. To qualify for the early bird rate, enter the authorization code gettheworm. (Seriously. It works.) Each full conference registration includes admission to the WaterSense Partner of the Year Awards luncheon, hosted by the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program, scheduled for Thursday, October 6. WSI will again feature more than 100 professional sessions and an Expo Hall showcasing water-efficient products and services. Several pre-show workshops (not included with the WSI registration fee) also are available on Tuesday, October 4. The Southern Nevada Water Authority is presenting WSI 2016 in partnership with the Alliance for Water Efficiency, American Water Works Association, Audubon International, California Landscape Contractors Association, California Urban Water Conservation Council, the U.S. EPA’s WaterSense Program, Green Plumbers USA, Imagine H2O, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, International Center for Water Technology, International Code Council, and Irrigation Association.
$6M plan aims to protect tiny fish By Ollie Reed Jr. / Journal Staff Writer Published: Sunday, May 1st, 2016 at 12:02am Updated: Saturday, April 30th, 2016 at 10:11pm
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bluntnose shiners are minnows, tiny fish barely more than 3 inches long. But, as a federally threatened species restricted to a 170-mile stretch of the Pecos River in New Mexico, they carry a lot of weight. The Endangered Species Act requires specific river flows to sustain the shiners’ habitat, flows that are difficult to maintain during severe drought years. That’s why the Bureau of Reclamation and the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission have joined forces on a plan to construct a $6 million pipeline to move water leased from privately owned property 10 miles north of the village of Fort Sumner to Sumner Reservoir, about 16 miles northwest of Fort Sumner. The 16-inch pipeline would convey water from nine existing wells on the private property to the reservoir about eight miles to the west. The project is still subject to a bureau internal feasibility study and other hurdles. But, if it goes forward, the stream commission and the bureau would take credit for the water stored in Sumner to create a 30,000 acre-feet fish pool in Santa Rosa Reservoir, about seven miles north of the town of Santa Rosa. That pool would be used to supplement flows in the Pecos during exceptionally dry times. “We are looking for alternative sources of water to assist us in extreme drought conditions, such as existed between 2011 and 2013, to provide flow targets between Sumner Dam and Brantley Dam,” Michelle Estrada-Lopez, bureau Pecos Basin project manager, told the Journal . “The bluntnose shiner exists only in the Pecos between those two dams.” Brantley Dam is about 13 miles north of Carlsbad. Estrada-Lopez said the bluntnose shiner had been increasing prior to 2011, when harsh drought locked in for two years. “Then they started failing,” she said. “But they have been increasing again since heavy rains in September 2013. The (Pecos) River has been in continuous flow since then.” In New Mexico, however, brutal drought is always a possibility. The Sumner pipeline would help sustain the shiner during arid periods. The stream commission has signed a 25-year agreement to lease water from the VP Bar LLC and has also contracted with the bureau, which would provide all the funding for the project. In addition to construction costs, annual operating and maintenance costs are expected to be $300,000. Many details remain to be worked out. “We are looking at construction costs, sources of funding, the types of permits that would be needed, whose land the pipeline would cross and if we can get permission from landowners,” Estrada-Lopez said. The lease agreement with VP Bar calls for 3,553 acre-feet of water to be delivered to Sumner Lake each year. An acre-foot is the amount of water it takes to cover an acre to a depth of one foot. Estrada-Lopez said that is less water than VP Bar has been using each year for agricultural purposes. The agreement is subject to re-evaluation if the pipeline plan fails to proceed. In the meantime, bureau and stream commission officials are exploring the possibility of transferring some of the VP Bar water rights to the Vaughan Conservation Pipeline facility southwest of Fort Sumner. The Vaughan delivery system has been used to supplement shiner habitat for several years. Officials also noted that, in addition to maintaining shiner habitat, the VP Bar lease agreement would provide additional water to downstream users and help New Mexico meet the terms of the 1948 Pecos River Compact with Texas, which provides for the equitable division of Pecos River waters.