April 2016

Determining the Future of New Mexico’s Watersheds


Local Strategies Generated at Regional Water-Planning Meetings


Joanne Hilton and Rosemary Romero


Río Grande Restoration, an Embudo, New Mexico-based nonprofit focused on improving the health of rivers and watersheds, has received a WaterSMART grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to explore creation of a Río Chama Watershed Partnership. The project’s goals are to develop a citizen’s voice in water-management decision-making processes and develop an implementation plan for improving conditions in the Río Chama and its tributary streams such as the ríos Cebolla and Gallina.


Río Grande Restoration (RGR) sees its watershed plan as supplementing and informing planning processes already being undertaken by More >

Forest Health and Landscape Resiliency in the San Juan-Chama Watershed




Monique DiGiorgio



What do southern Colorado and northern New Mexico have in common? In addition to sharing a border, the southern San Juan Mountains contain forested watersheds of high value to both states. The area supports traditional agricultural operations, substantial wildlife populations, tourism-based economies and public recreation, including hunting and outfitting opportunities that attract international visitors.



In the center of the region is the Bureau of Reclamation’s San Juan-Chama Diversion, which moves 110,000 acre-feet of water annually from the San Juan Basin to the central Río Grande Valley, providing approximately 50 percent of Santa Fe County’s and 90 percent of Bernalillo County’s More >

Minding the Chama

  Jack Loeffler Barbara Turner has penned a superb essay entitled “Thinking Like the Río Chama Watershed” that appears in a finely designed chapbook of the same name and published by the Río Arriba Concerned Citizens. In this essay, she clearly defines what a watershed is, the nature of the water cycle, the biogeographical characteristics, the diverse cultural characteristics—the compelling beauty of this Chama River bioregion. Barbara Turner points out that almost the entire watershed is contained in the geopolitically defined region presently known as Río Arriba County of northwestern New Mexico. And she conveys the current faces of jeopardy—including “fracking”—that threaten More >

Federal Agreement on Gila River Triggers Review

  In approving a procedural agreement with state water managers in November 2015, the U.S. Dept. of the Interior emphasized that final approval of a proposed diversion of New Mexico’s Gila River will require a thorough environmental review, including looking at water-management alternatives, before any next steps are taken on the controversial project. The DOI signed an agreement with the newly formed New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity (CAP Entity), which sets in motion a process for evaluating the merits of the two-phase river diversion that includes both economic and ecological considerations. The review process will not conclude until 2019. In More >

Op-Ed: Water in New Mexico

Sanders Moore Clean water is essential to New Mexicans’ health, happiness and economic vitality. From the San Juan to the Río Grande, rivers provide us with drinking water. When that water is polluted, even at relatively low levels, we increase our risk of liver disease, kidney disease and even cancer. All of us are affected by unhealthy water quality. Because clean water is so essential to our families’ health, recreational opportunities and way of life, GreenLatinos, Environment New Mexico and a host of allies celebrated the Obama administration’s new Clean Water Rule, which was announced last May and will restore federal protection to More >

From Survival and Sustainable Agriculture to Río Grande Diversion


The History of Santa Fe’s Water Supply


Hilario E. Romero and Michael Aune


The earliest residents of Santa Fe settled along a river corridor because of its riparian life, flowing river, cold springs and shallow aquifers that could bring fresh, clean water to the surface. For centuries, Pueblo people survived in the area until severe perennial droughts arrived in A.D. 1400 and forced them out. Over the next three-and-a-half centuries, the climate changed, gradually increasing the river flow and recharging the aquifers. Spanish settlers arrived, and soon the area became the capital of their new province. The needs of the Pueblo people More >

The Aamodt Settlement Conundrum



A complex situation involving water and property rights in the Pojoaque Valley




The Aamodt water-rights case, named after a party in the original litigation, was filed 50 years ago to settle “Aboriginal” claims of four pueblos that are vying for water with hundreds of non-pueblo farmers and well owners in the Nambé-Pojoaque-Tesuque stream basin. If the final settlement agreement, signed in 2013, withstands the challenges that have been filed in District Court, a Pojoaque Valley Regional Water System (RWS) will be built to replace the pumping of existing wells in the valley north of Santa Fe.



Non-pueblo residents, who own about 2,600 private More >

Linking Santa Fe’s Local Food Demand to Urban Water Demand Management



Quita Ortiz Despite an increase in population, the city of Santa Fe has reduced its annual water consumption by more than half since the mid-1990s, when it purchased the water utility from Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). Nationally, Santa Fe has become a model among cities for water conservation. Its utility is charged with delivering a safe and reliable water supply to its customers. Many of those customers support a vibrant local-food economy, as evidenced by the success of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market and local CSAs (community supported agriculture). The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is the state’s oldest More >

Op-Ed: El Agua Bendita / Sacred Water



Alejandro López



Water, rain were the greatest of blessings, and all was asked in their name, and in their image, gesture and sound by the Pueblo peoples who invoked them…for upon their coming, the lives of plant and person and animal alike depended.


Paul Horgan, Great River



The state of New Mexico has relatively little water compared to states further east, north and northwest. It may be partly because of this that the founding Native American and Indo-Hispano cultures, to this day, hold significantly different attitudes and understandings about water than contemporary mainstream culture, which originally made its way here from More >

Self-Healing and the Water Pathways of the Body




Japa Khalsa



The heart of self-healing is awakened when we perceive the body as more than just scientific functions. In indigenous healing traditions, like Chinese Medicine, the internal organs are jewels of consciousness; they affect not only our physical health but also our emotions and how we perceive reality. The organs are considered energetic in nature, with energy-sensing pathways—meridians—that stretch out over the entire body and even sometimes beyond the body. The organs do not exist in isolation inside the torso. They are part of a vast meridian network on the body that works in harmony. We can understand the body’s More >

Could Rainwater Harvesting Solve Flint’s Water Crisis?



Nate Downey



Twenty-something years ago, when my wife started her career in landscape architecture, she was sent to a pre-bid meeting in Los Alamos Canyon. At one point during the site tour, the laboratory representative stopped the group of contractors to make sure everyone was listening.


This might be the most important thing I’ll tell you today. Of course, it’s highly unlikely, but, if you or any of your workers are digging or just walking around and by chance…” the guide slowed his upbeat to an adagio, “you notice any debris, such as pieces of metal or odd-looking containers, please evacuate the More >

Newsbites – April 2016



Interior Department Report Underscores Impacts of Climate Change on Western Water Resources


Putting the national spotlight on the importance of water sustainability, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation has released a basin-by-basin report that characterizes the impacts of climate change and details adaptation strategies to better protect major river basins in the West that are fundamental to the health, economy, security and ecology of 17 Western states.



The SECURE Water Act Report identifies climate change as a growing risk to water management, citing warmer temperatures, changes to precipitation, snowpack and the timing and quality of streamflow runoff. Other More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – April 2016


April 2, 9 am-12 pm

Backyard Farming Series

Gutierrez-Hubbell House, 6029 Isleta SW

Successful Water Practices and the Role of Plants. Learn the basics needed to plan and design your home garden landscape guided by sustainability, permaculture and wise use of our limited natural resources. Info/registration: 505.314.0398, www.berncom.gov/openspace


April 2

New Museum Opening

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW

The IPCC’s first new permanent exhibit in 40 years: We Are of This Place: The Pueblo Story. Indianpueblo.org


April 7 start

Herbal Intensive

Red Root Acupuncture Clinic

Six week intensive with Tomas Enos covering health and herbs using local plants, medicine-making, etc. 505.242.2032


April 7, 9:30–11 am

Home Composting Basics

Highland Senior Center, More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe – April 2016


April 1, June 3, Aug. 5, 10 am–1 pm

Free Legal Clinics

First Judicial Court, 225 Montezuma Ave.

For low-income New Mexicans. First Friday every other month. Attorneys provide free legal advice on civil matters only (no family law, no criminal law) on a first-come, first-served basis limited to the first 25 people. Bring relevant paperwork for attorney to review. NM Legal Aid’s Volunteer Attorney Program. 505.814.5033, ajab@nmlegalaid.org


April 4, 6 pm

Dr. Kurt Anschuetz

Hotel Santa Fe

A Contested Landscape: Tewa, Keres, Tano & Spanish Homelands of Las Bocas Canyon. Lecture presented by SW Seminars. $12. southwestseminar@aol.com, SouthwestSeminars.org


April 5, 10 am–12 pm

Words that Work!

501 Halona More >

What’s Going On? – Taos – April 2016



Through April 24

Art Speaks: Works by Renowned Taos Pueblo Artists

Encore Gallery, TCA, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte

Works created by a group of the pueblo’s premier artists in stone, clay, India ink and oils. Free admission. 575.758.2052, tcataos.org


April 20, 5:30-8 pm

Taos Entrepreneurial Network

Old County Courthouse, 121 N. Plaza

Monthly meeting (every 3rd Weds.). Keynote and presentations by local speakers, exhibits of products and services. 575.921.8234, Melissa@taosten.org


July 11-14

Integrative Medicine Professionals Symposium

Sagebrush Inn

7th Biennial symposium on integrative health featuring many distinguished speakers and local practitioners. Presented by the UNM School of Medicine’s Section of Integrative Medicine, Continuing Medical Education & Professional Development, Arizona Center More >

What’s Going On? – Here & There – April 2016


April 1–May 20

Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Workshops

Taos, Las Vegas, Mora

Workshop series for northern NM residents to help creative entrepreneurs start an online shop on Etsy to sell handmade products and create supplemental income. All workshops 10 am–4 pm. April 1, 8, 15, 22: Las Vegas; April 7, 14, 21, 28: Taos; April 29, May 6, 13, 20: Mora. Presented by WESST. 505.474.6556, rperea@wesst.org



April 12-13

2016 NM Public Health Association Conference

Las Cruces Convention Center, Las Cruces, NM

Public Health Beyond Borders: History, Intersections and Solutions. www.nmpha.org/event-2140490


April 14, 6-8 pm

NM Solar Energy Assn. Meeting

Little Toad Pub backroom, Silver City, NM

Monthly meeting of the NMSEA-Silver City More >