As announced at the recent Annual Meeting, we have resolution! After seven LONG years of hard work, we have an approved agreement on the Northwest Well protest!!!!!
On October 31, 2017, the New Mexico State Engineer approved the NW Well Settlement Agreement and Conditions of Approval as submitted by the City of Santa Fe, the Office of State Engineer Water Rights Division and the NW Well Protest Coalition led by the Tano Road Association.
A permanent pumping Permit will be issued limiting the NW Well to an average of 650 acre feet per year. The Settlement also requires the City to maintain an extensive NW Well Monitoring Program to include five Tano Road area wells along with fourteen other nearby wells.
The Monitoring Program will inform and regulate the use of the Tesuque Aquifer that our neighborhood’s wells depend upon, and protect our property values by ensuring a stable water source for our homes. The data that are collected will be read by our hydrologist and we will stay informed of any changes in the aquifer.
As part of the Settlement, the City’s application to expand its municipal water rights has been resolved to moderate and control any unnecessary water rights expansion.
The NW Well Settlement of a citizen-protested water use application was the first ever in the State of New Mexico. This is a precedent-setting agreement: it protects New Mexico’s rural and domestic well water users affected by municipal wells and other urban ground water users. And, we avoided a lengthy and expensive court case.
The final Settlement and Permit documents will be posted on the website in the near future.
HUGE THANKS to Ellen Collins and Doris Longhurst, who have tirelessly shepherded this protest through some very difficult times and who have agreed to stay on top of the ongoing monitoring program.